Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk spent the days immediately after the results of the bogus Arizona election “audit” were announced continuing to push conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. Kirk (who resides in Phoenix) and his guests floated the idea for additional “audits” in the state and encouraged criminal investigations by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Such conspiracy theories are fueling voter suppression efforts in Arizona and across the country.
Immediately after news broke of the result of the sham election “audit” in Arizona’s Maricopa County, prominent right-wing media figures and politicians began misrepresenting its data to support their false claims. Kirk has undermined voting rights legislation, lied about voter suppression, called on former vice president Mike Pence to unilaterally overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, and even funded transportation to DC used by an insurrectionist on January 6. He began the September 24 edition of The Charlie Kirk Show by reading vague data from the draft report.
Kirk dubiously repeated throughout his program that 55,000 potentially illegal ballots were cast. "These 55,000 ballots that have been put in question need to be isolated,” Kirk said. “They need to be put under 24/7 control and match, because according to this audit, 55,000 ballots were cast against Arizona state law. They were illegally administered.”
Kirk then began to speculate about future “audits,” implying that more illegal ballots were cast in other Arizona counties. “What if we did an audit of Pima County near Tucson?” he asked. “How many illegal ballots do you think were cast in Tucson against Arizona state law?”
He continued by saying that the Maricopa “audit” results revealed “there was actually more corner-cutting, potentially more cheating, not less.” A continued investigation of these ballots, Kirk said, could be “more than enough to actually shift Arizona and decertify that election.” In the days after the report was released, the state’s Republican Gov. Doug Ducey said that no such decertification would occur.
Later in the program, Kirk hosted One America News correspondent and host Christina Bobb, who called for Brnovich to open a criminal investigation into the handling of the 2020 election in Arizona. “I’d love to see him announce on Monday that he is opening a criminal investigation to investigate fraud, looking into the machines, the routers, and who did the action,” she said. “Now, for criminal prosecution, obviously we all want to see that take place and that will take time for him to investigate.”
Bobb herself hosted several state legislators from around the country on OAN to push for similar “audits” in other states. Her nonprofit also has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the effort in Arizona.
Kirk hosted Arizona State Representative Jake Hoffman, whom The Arizona Republic has called the state’s “minister of disinformation,” to discuss the so-called election integrity measures (in reality voter suppression efforts) the state legislature could implement. Kirk asked Hoffman: “The final question that I want to ask you, which I think is really important, is as we kind of look at everything in front of us, what pieces of reform and legislation are you pushing in Arizona to make sure this never happens again?” Hoffman went on to discuss a series of measures he and other legislators are currently advancing in the state.
Attacks on voting rights are also nothing new in Arizona. State Republicans introduced 57 election-related bills in the Arizona legislature last session, according to a New York Times report with data from the Voting Rights Lab. Of those, 32 bills “would have added new restrictions to voting or shifted the balance of power in election administration.” Seven were passed into law. And while voting rights advocates have announced legal challenges and experts have debunked the sham audit’s findings, the threat to voting rights remains.
Kirk continued to make the case for decertification on the September 27 edition of The Charlie Kirk Show. He connected the “audit” results to the nationwide effort by the GOP and other conservative allies to rewrite voting laws. “There's so many questions now that people have, which is, well do we decertify the election? Do we support prioritizing criminally prosecuting those people responsible? Let's start with that one. Yes,” Kirk said. “Arizona is now the front lines of the fight to secure our elections and find out what actually happened in the 2020 election.”
Later in the broadcast, Kirk grew more conspiratorial. Presumably referring to efforts by the U.S. Department of Justice to reign in bogus “audits” like the one in Arizona, Kirk asked his audience if they now understood “why the Biden regime wanted to interfere, with federal agents, to try to stop the Arizona audit.” He continued, “Because these findings, all of a sudden, put into jeopardy whatever mandate they thought they had. Maybe the president didn’t win Arizona.”
Kirk ended the segment with a call to action: “It's time to indict the co-conspirators that oversaw an illegal election.”