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How Arizona became the center of election fraud theories

Even after multiple investigations found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Arizona during the 2020 election, false allegations and conspiracy theories persist ahead of this year's election.
Rudy Giuliani
Posted at 8:10 AM, Jul 01, 2024

Audits, ballot reviews and court rulings all found that Arizona conducted a free and fair election back in 2020. However, claims of widespread fraud persist as Arizona is poised to be another key battleground state in this year's presidential campaign.

How did we get here? False allegations pushed by former President Donald Trump's former attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and allies.

The former mayor of New York City, along with 17 others, have been charged with allegedly orchestrating an effort to have Trump supporters submit fraudulent ballots to the Electoral College even though President Joe Biden won the state in 2020. Trump himself questioned the narrow electoral win, but was described as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case.

Related Story: Arizona indicts 18 in case over 2020 election in Arizona, including Giuliani and Meadows

This rhetoric fueled conspiracy theories regarding allegations of dead people voting, bamboo ballots from Asia, and Sharpiegate — the widespread claim that ballots marked with Sharpies could not be read by voting machines. The allegations led to multiple investigations, all of which found no evidence of election fraud.

Nonetheless, a slew of proposed bills sought to change the voting process in the state. Garrett Archer — a data analyst and former senior elections analyst for the Arizona secretary of state — says little has changed in how the state conducts elections, but he does expect the state to wait a little longer this year before it calls the election.

"Elections appear simple," he said. "But there are multiple layers and thousands of people behind it to make sure that that count is the true and accurate count."