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John L. Smith On The Arizona Election Audit: 'It's Never Over'

Associated Press

Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan, center, is flanked on Friday at the Arizona Capitol by Ben Cotton, left, founder of digital security firm CyFIR, and Randy Pullen, right, a former chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, prior to the Arizona Senate Republicans review of the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa County.

State of Nevada commentator John L. Smith says the Arizona election audit affirming President Joe Biden’s election win there should settle things. But it won’t.

The Cyber Ninjas group hired by state senate Republicans to review November’s election results said Biden retained a lead over Donald Trump, as was determined in official results.

“You would sure like to think so at some point, the facts are going to win out,” Smith said, “but of course, it's never over. It's never over.”

Some Arizona Republican officials, including party Chairwoman Kelli Ward, have called for additional investigations even after more than $10 million was spent on the audit.

“She's essentially still in the rabbit hole of conspiracy about widespread voter fraud, while the rest of the country, you would think, would be ready to move on from Arizona's own kind of breakdown,” Smith said.

The Nevada Republican Party now faces, he said, the challenge of trying to placate a base that thinks the 2020 election was stolen and reaching out to more moderate voters.

“Western party politics are pretty similar,” Smith said. “You had political players from Nevada, either going to Maricopa County to observe the antics of Cyber Ninjas, or staying in Nevada but watching it on television and saying, ‘Boy, that sure looks suspicious to me.’ And so they kind of carried the water for this.

“They're not really interested in facts so much as they're interested in their anger and indignation over losing an election.”

That could lead to some difficult questions for next year’s leading Nevada GOP candidates: former U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, and North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee — all gubernatorial candidates — and Adam Laxalt, a former state attorney general running for Senate.

“If they answer candidly, they're probably going to admit that there wasn't widespread voter fraud,” Smith said. “They'll have to decide at some point, are you going to go with the facts? Or are you going to go with the stuff that fires up the base, which is, you know, maybe fun in the primary, but you're going to have a hard time winning a general election.”

John L. Smith, contributor, State of Nevada

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