Trump supporters deny results, hawk coins
The results of the Arizona election test are here and (still) official: President Joe Biden has won, and supporters of former President Donald Trump are struggling to process the news. Some deny, others are disappointed, and some have used the moment as an opportunity to make money.
After Biden narrowly took over swing state in last year’s election, Trump and his ardent supporters claimed for no reason that there had been widespread electoral fraud. They were particularly fixated on Maricopa County, where Biden won by 45,000 votes.
Although the county conducted two by-election reviews that confirmed its results, the Arizona Senate Republicans then ordered a third. They picked Cyber Ninjas, a little-known Florida company, to run it.
The audit was immediately called with controversy.
Cyber Ninjas is led by a man who previously spread unsubstantiated electoral conspiracy theories. His company had no known experience of screening elections.
Reports surfaced of bizarre and ridiculous methods used by the auditors, such as using black light for an unknown purpose, searching for cinematic artifacts for a similar reason, and asking whether “Cheeto fingers” on a ballot paper was evidence of fraud. They also hunted for bamboo fiber based on an exposed conspiracy that fake ballot papers were mailed from South Korea.
Despite all of this, according to a multi-agency draft report, the audit ultimately concluded that Biden did indeed win.
Maricopa district trumpeted the news on his verified Twitter account – but not without it criticize the “Errors and flawed conclusions of the Report on How Maricopa County Conducted the 2020 General Election”.
“No matter what ends up in the final report, what Cyber Ninjas & Co. did, was not a good test. It didn’t build trust, ”Maricopa County tweeted on Friday.
Now Trump supporters are freaking out. Many, including Trump himself, simply refuse to believe the results of the test.
QAnon conspiracy theorist Ron Watkins ‘Telegram channel is littered with comments denying the results of the audit, many of Watkins’ numerous posts spreading false claims of election fraud.
“So does this decertify the entire election or just AZ?” Wondered a user named Barbie.
One named John Lamb said, “I need more popcorn. Today will be the beginning of their end. “
On the US Audit Watch Chat Telegram, someone walking past Stephen Sea cautioned: “Accomplishing MSM ‘personalities’ will HANG in their OWN ‘court’ (public opinion).”
“BEFORE they are executed in the US Military Court.”
One of the most unexpected responses to the exam came from the Melania Trump (Official) Telegram account. The account, which is clearly not linked to the real Melania Trump, used the moment to sell Trump coins.
“Now is the right time to have at least 25 coins!” Declared the account of “Melania Trump (official)” on Friday afternoon. “… These coins are not counterfeit and now you can get them for only $ 130! In 1 year the value will skyrocket and you can buy a house with just 25 coins! “
The post redirects people to a website with a URL that ends with “QAnon”. The site offers a free coin (plus $ 8.95 for shipping and handling) or purchase of multiple coins at prices ranging from $ 7.95 a piece for three coins to $ 4.95 a piece for 25 coins. The website promises that the coins are “impressively made” and retain “evidence quality” in a “complementary plastic case”.
“This coin is a Symbol of the victory and success of President Trump ”, it says on the website.
The gold-plated and silver-plated coins bear Trump’s image and the presidential seal on opposite sides, his campaign slogan 2020 “Keep America Great” and are dated 2020.
If the website’s predictions about the value of the coins were true – to be clear, they aren’t – it means people could buy a home for around $ 125 a year as of now.
Read more about the far right
* First published: 9/24/2021, 2:23 p.m. CDT
Claire Goforth is an award-winning journalist who covers politics and justice from her home base in Jacksonville, Florida. Her work has appeared in publications ranging from regional alternative weeklies to the Guardian.