Editor’s Thought Bubble: The #StopTheSteal audit was always going to be this way




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It may have felt like an early April Fool’s joke, but it wasn’t: Senate Republicans on Wednesday announced they’d hired auditors to recount the 2020 election in Maricopa County, and within a few hours the Mirror broke the news that the man leading the audit was an ardent proponent of the #StopTheSteal lies about how the election was stolen because of a convoluted conspiracy involving voting machines, a long-dead Venezuelan strongman president and millions of fraudulent votes.

It took me less than an hour to find the multitude of tweets that the lead auditor, a Florida man named Doug Logan, had sent from a Twitter account that he deleted sometime in January. He frequently interacted with Big Lie hucksters of the highest order, including Sidney Powell, L. Lin Wood and Ron Watkins — a man so closely tied to QAnon and the websites that pushed the dangerous theory that many experts believe he likely was behind the whole thing. He repeatedly posted his own thoughts on the election being stolen and reposted others who asserted the same things.

He’ll now be paid $150,000 to “audit” an election he’s already concluded was stolen as part of a vast conspiracy. Senate Republicans are inviting this man, and what appears to be a cadre of like-minded fraudsters and liars, to spend 60 days with our ballots and voting machines so they can prove their case.

What will happen is a repeat of what this whole exercise in election conspiracies has been about: They will inevitably find something that is perfectly normal in election procedures, and then either misunderstand or misrepresent it so that it backs up the story they’ve told themselves about how Trump didn’t really lose. It will be done purely in bad faith and it will serve to undermine elections in Arizona and nationwide, hastening our nation’s fall into authoritarianism.

I hope every single Senate Republican can sleep at night knowing what they are doing. 
Jim Small
Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications, the Yellow Sheet Report and Arizona Legislative Report. Under his guidance, the Capitol Times won numerous state, regional and national awards for its accountability journalism and probing investigations into state government operations.