With all the attention given to election integrity by Republicans, particularly in Arizona, all eyes were on the voting systems and reporting at the State GOP Meeting held on Saturday. Unlike previous years where the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office provided personnel and equipment or where online voting was used, machines were provided by the Gila County Recorder’s Office, using older Diebold systems.
By and large voting was done with minimal wait times and results were reported in an efficient manner, but the Member at Large race for CD8 ended up mired in controversy as the three winners were announced to the entire meeting, then one was switched after most members had gone home.
When the winners were first announced, former State Representative Anthony Kern, LD13 Chairman and former County Superintendent Sandra Dowling, and Aaron Flannery were the three who received the congratulations. Later, Dowling was informed that she did not win and Mitch Friedlander, a PC from LD22 had actually won. There was no explanation given except human error and a claim that they misread the results on two different lines.
Many State Committeemen aren’t buying the reason, noting that Dowling was one of the signers of a letter calling on State GOP Chairman Kelli Ward to step down and was the only signer of that letter to be running for a position on the State GOP’s Executive Committee. [RELATED ARTICLE: GOP Chairs Call On Ward To Exit Race For AZGOP Chairman]
“Come on, Dowling wins, then oops, we confused line 3 and line 5 and Dowling loses?” noted one committeeman sarcastically. “Ward and her people aren’t going to let any of those signers near the place and they don’t want anyone like that holding them accountable for the next two years.”
Dowling does have 10 days from the date of the meeting to request an audit or recount, but given that the blank ballots and the ballots that were cast are in Ward’s possession, and the small number of ballots that would have to be doctored to survive an audit, none of the committeemen we contacted for this story believed Dowling would be successful.
“Either they really did screw up and didn’t bother double-checking their numbers before announcing winners, which is certainly believable given who it is we’re talking about,” said one Southern Arizona committeeman, “or they cheated Dowling and by Monday morning will have everything ready for any sort of inspection.”
Since Election Day last November, the AZGOP under Ward has been very vocal about election integrity, ballot security, fraud, and what they insist was the theft of the 2020 Presidential election. All of which makes the suspicious reversal of results in CD8’s election a very bad look.