Longtime Republican strategist Tyler Montague thinks that the Arizona Republican Party's election contest filed last night based largely on supposed anomalies in the heavily Mormon portion of the East Valley and Queen Creek is "bull crap".
As reported earlier
, the Complaint - filed as a proposed Complaint in order to permit AZ GOP Chair Kelli Ward's attorneys to begin discovery before the Contest can be filed following Monday's statewide
|(photo from KJZZ/Will Stone)|
canvass (aka "certification") - alleges that "the results in CD5/Queen Creek were strongly inconsistent with voter registration data (party affiliation) and with historical voting data (voting in previous elections including the 2016 Presidential election)."
Garrett Archer, a data analyst for ABC 15 who was formerly with the Secretary of State's Office, noted last week that one of the Queen Creek precincts showed an 8.9% point swing away from Trump this year. CD5 - which contains that portion of Queen Creek, as well as major parts of Mesa and Gilbert - also is cited as being an anomaly.
Archer's tweet last week caught the attention of many Republicans, who have used it to bolster their (inconsistent, and evidence-less) claims of fraud.
Ward herself cited
it as "(a)nother reason we need PRECINCT LEVEL audits in Maricopa County." (This makes little sense because voters from that precinct cast Election Day ballots at any of a number of Vote Centers in the area and around the county.) State Rep. Warren Petersen (R-LD12) then said
that "This is my district and I can't see how this could possibly happen."
However, Montague cited three main reasons that Donald Trump received fewer votes than he did in 2016: Mormons, growth in the area from out of state, and people who were upset at Trump's posthumous treatment of longtime Arizona Senator John McCain.
"A majority of Mormons voted for Trump. But, you had a 10% point defection," Montague asserts. He says that many East Valley Mormons (including himself) voted for Evan McMullin four years ago, and that "Biden picked up those third party defections this year."
Montague says the state party has "been putting out all sorts of bull crap.... It's embarrassing as a Republican to see this. Let's go win it by connecting with people and talking about good policies."
The hearing on Ward's request to permit discovery is at 10:30a.m. on Monday. At 11:00a.m., Arizona's results are going to be canvassed (certified). Immediately after the canvass, anyone has five days to file a Complaint contesting the election for grounds specified in Arizona law.
(Tonight, at 6pm, tune into ABC15 to watch friends @TomRyanLaw and @ThePolitiKat discuss the new lawsuit.)
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