The "Stop the Steal" movement has been going on for nearly a year and has yet to find any substantial evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
The movement was dealt an embarrassing blow on Friday when a Republican recount of Maricopa County in Arizona not only confirmed Trump's loss but found that it was by a wider margin than the official tally.
Back in March, Arizona State Senate Republicans hired Florida-based company Cyber Ninjas to audit the election results in Maricopa County. The company has no prior experience in auditing election results and is headed by Doug Logan, a man who has promoted baseless election conspiracy theories.
"I'm tired of hearing people say there was no fraud. It happened, it's real, and people better get wise fast," he tweeted on December 31.
After several months with zero bipartisan oversight, Cyber Ninjas were set to send the results of the audit to the Arizona State Senate on Friday but they were leaked to The Arizona Republic ahead of time.
The audit found that Trump lost by 45,469 votes in the county, 360 more than the previous tally. According to Cyber Ninjas, Trump received 261 fewer votes while Biden picked up an additional 99.
The Arizona “audit” coming out tomorrow didn’t just confirm Biden won. Biden actually gained votes in their recount… https://t.co/fpO7PfA1Qd— Will Sommer (@Will Sommer) 1632451907.0
Responding to news reports on Friday, Trump said the findings were "far different than that being reported by the Fake News Media," and that it had "uncovered significant and undeniable evidence of FRAUD!"
"Huge findings in Arizona! However, the Fake News Media is already trying to 'call it' again for Biden before actually looking at the facts—just like they did in November!" Trump said in a statement.
"Every time Trump and his supporters have been given a forum to prove this case, they have swung and missed," Ben Ginsberg, a longtime Republican election attorney, said according to the Arizona Mirror.
Trump's insistence that he won the 2020 election appears to be doing him and his party a lot more harm than good. Ron Nehring, a former chair of the California GOP, says that his party's constant fraud claims only work to depress Republican turnout and are a major reason that Larry Elder lost to Democrat Gavin Newsom in the California recall election.
In the days leading up to the election Elder alleged that fraud had taken place on his website.
"We can't have an evidence-based party if we are bullshitting people in advance that this election was stolen when it was not," Nehring said Wednesday. "One way not to have Republicans win is by telling Republican voters that their votes don't matter.... Lying to Republicans claiming an election was stolen, before a single vote or result had been published, is grossly irresponsible."
Unproven fraud allegations are a lose-lose proposition for the GOP. They depress voter turnout by killing people's faith in the institution and hurt the party's credibility when its claims go unfounded.
In a two-party system, they're giving their opponents an unfair advantage by telling their own people that elections don't matter.
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