ELVIA DIAZ

Sorry, Sen. Paul Boyer. You can't disown the Arizona election audit now

Opinion: GOP Sen. Paul Boyer called the Republican-run audit 'embarrassing.' But he is doing nothing to stop it.

Elvia Díaz
Arizona Republic
State Sen. Paul Boyer, R-Phoenix, speaks on the floor of the Senate at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on May 27, 2019.

Corrections & Clarifications: Sen. Paul Boyer did not vote for the Senate audit but supported it in principle. This was incorrect in a previous version.

Sen. Paul Boyer wants to be the forgettable villain in a really bad movie called the Arizona election audit.

Things have gone off the rails with the Republican-led audit and Boyer is suddenly regretful about the role he played to get it underway in the first place.

It makes us look like idiots,” Boyer told The New York Times over the weekend about the recount-turned-witch-hunt of non-existent election voter fraud – but more about that later.

“Looking back, I didn’t think it would be this ridiculous. It’s embarrassing to be a state senator at this point,” Boyer said.

What? Boyer didn’t think it’d be this ridiculous?

Boyer can't wash his hands of this audit

His fellow Arizona Republicans lit the torch of the “Stop the Steal” crowd the moment Trump lost the November vote.

Either Boyer is that naïve or somebody twisted his arm to support auditing Maricopa County’s 2.1 million ballots. Boyer, who never actually voted for the audit as I initially wrote, told me he believed there was nothing wrong in principle with auditing the county’s vote.

Either way, Boyer doesn’t get to wash his hands of this farce and expect roaring applause for simply disowning his initial support while still doing nothing to stop it.

The audit, being carried out by Trump’s Cyber Ninjas, is not just the butt of jokes but a real threat to the integrity of elections, with conspiracy theories or ridiculous shenanigans coming out almost daily.

You really can’t make up what’s happening. Right-wing auditors are searching for bamboo fibers because somebody floated a conspiracy theory that ballots were sent from Asia.

That’s just the latest. They’ve also been looking for watermarks and yellow dots, and shining ultraviolet flashlights on each ballot.

All that is happening without securing the ballots. Auditors even planned to knock on doors to harass voters in hopes of finding proof that Trump lost to Joe Biden only through fraud.

He could have spoken up sooner

The U.S. Justice Department seemed to have put a stop to the door-knocking idea for now, but things are still crazy and getting seriously dangerous.

Katie Hobbs, the state’s top election official who happens to be a Democrat, now has around-the-lock security after receiving credible death threats against her last week.

Boyer himself got caught in the public’s wrath earlier this year when he was the sole Republican speaking up against putting Maricopa County supervisors behind bars over the audit.

Some thought then, including myself, that Boyer was perhaps the only sensible Republican who could stop this madness. 

We were wrong. He didn’t have the guts to do it.

Indeed, he was the sole Republican to vote against holding the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in contempt for not responding to subpoenas. But in the end, Boyer supported in principle to move ahead with the audit.

Now he’s some sort of a hero for speaking up against the sham that he supported in the first place?

I'd buy that regretfulness if he was actually doing something to stop the audit and not just talking about it to grab national headlines. What he can do now? For starters, he could pick up the phone or walk to Sen. President Karen Fann's office and tell her to end this nonsense. 

For sure, senator Boyer. The audit makes all of you “look like idiots,” and it’s truly “embarrassing to be a state (Republican) senator at this point.” 

But you know what’s even more embarrassing? Not doing anything about it.   

Elvia Díaz is an editorial columnist for The Republic and azcentral. Reach her at 602-444-8606 or elvia.diaz@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her on Twitter, @elviadiaz1

Subscribe to get more opinions content.