The election was a full month ago, but until Friday, Cochise County, Arizona, officials were still delaying certification of the 2022 election results. And this time, it had nothing to do with Arizona’s inexcusable built-in delays in counting its votes. Only a court order finally forced the issue.
There was nothing wrong with the vote tally in Cochise County. There was nothing wrong with the voting process, either. But Republicans on the county Board of Supervisors are upset at the outcomes at the top of the ticket, where Democrats won the races for governor and senator. If they had or even claimed to have a valid reason for this, these errant county officials would not have been so clearly in the wrong. But they didn’t. Their explanation for their actions revolved around a conspiracy theory about the supposed unreliability of machines that tabulate ballots. There’s no real basis for distrusting the machines. And so they resisted certifying the final tally as long as they could.
It should never have taken a court order for these county officials to do their job. And if Republicans keep acting like this, they won’t hold such jobs for much longer. It is extremely tiresome, and the voters aren’t willing to take much more of it.
Republicans need to make up their minds on whether they want to elect and have their party run by people who will use public office this way — who try to reverse election outcomes even when they aren’t especially close — for there is no valid reason to think anything was untoward in the result. Indeed, in Michigan, several election losers who had indulged former President Donald Trump’s stolen election fantasies of 2020 are now talking about running for chair of their state party. If Arizona is any indication, such people are only capable of running a state party in one direction — into the ground.
The fact that Democrats are hypocrites on the issue of election denialism is no excuse. Republicans need to take hold of their party and make it work again. That starts with looking crazy in the eye and calling it “crazy” to its face.
Democrats have a long history of election denial, having created conspiracy theories (including voting machine conspiracy theories) and having denied every single presidential election won by a Republican president this century. But the modern outbreak of sore-loserism on the Republican side seems to have begun more recently. One milestone came in 2014 when Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) just flat-out refused to admit that he had lost his primary against Sen. Thad Cochran (R). There were surely other stops along the way before Trump alleged, without evidence, that the election he actually won in 2016 had been riddled with fraud. And having made that claim, it was not much of a lift to make similar claims, also without evidence, about the 2020 election after he had lost.
Trump lost the 2020 election. It was not stolen from him. This time, Kari Lake lost for governor, and most other Republican candidates in Arizona lost as well. Why did they lose? Mostly because they consistently underperformed Republican candidates for U.S. House. So it wasn’t even about the party — it was about the candidates, who incidentally had also attempted to delegitimize previous election results. And yes, many conservatives loved hearing Lake take it to the media, but apparently voters didn’t love it as much. The truth hurts.
Is there voter fraud? Indeed, there is. People are charged and convicted of it frequently whenever and wherever there is a willing prosecutor. Is there enough fraud to turn an Arizona gubernatorial race decided by 17,000 votes? Not a chance. This wrangling over perfectly fair election results is exhausting. The idiocy has to end somewhere.
Democrats will never stop denying election outcomes, and the corporate media will give them a pass every time. But if Republicans want to fix their leaky ship, they have to fix it themselves. It is annoying enough to watch such idiots as Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams spout conspiracy theories about stolen elections. It is even more annoying to hear Republicans do it when they know better. And if you want to see where this kind of behavior gets you, just look at what happened to Abrams in this year’s election.