Former US President Donald Trump said on Friday that Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters was defeated in Arizona owing to “voter fraud.” Masters was declared preliminarily defeated by Democrat Mark Kelly on Friday, following an election marked by faulty devices and sluggish vote tallying.
“They’re back,” Trump stated on his Truth Social platform. “A considerable number of voting machines did not operate, but exclusively in Republican districts.” People were forced to wait in line for hours, then became exhausted…and left by the thousands.
“This is a scam and voter fraud, no different from stuffing the ballot boxes,” he continued, referencing his own allegations that pro-Democrat poll workers engaged in ballot harvesting to deliver Arizona to President Joe Biden in 2020.
“They stole the electron (sic) from Blake Masters,” he concluded, demanding that officials in the state “do election over again!”
Multiple US media outlets declared Kelly the winner on Friday night, with the Democrat incumbent leading Masters by 52% to 46%. Masters, on the other hand, has not conceded, and 13% of the votes have yet to be tallied. If Kelly wins or Masters concedes defeat, the US Senate will be decided in Nevada, where Republican Adam Laxalt leads by less than a percentage point, and Georgia, where a runoff election is scheduled for next month. Republicans need both seats to gain control of the Senate.
Maricopa County, which includes the cities of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe, is Arizona’s biggest and most populated county. Republicans raised the alarm when one in every five voting machines in more than 200 polling places around the county failed on Tuesday. As long lines formed, Masters and many other Republican candidates filed an emergency action to extend voting hours, which was denied.
Republican fears of fraud grew when ballot counting slowed to a trickle following election day. Although Maricopa County officials say it can take a week or longer to tabulate these ballots, the state of Florida manages to count almost all of its ballots in a single night, despite having four times the population of Maricopa County.
Masters blamed his struggles in Arizona on miscounted ballots and Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to adequately fund his campaign in an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Friday.