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- The GOP-organized review of 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County in the presidential election started in late April. Organizers expect findings to be released in a report later this summer.
- There’s no evidence to back the claim that the military is preparing to respond to the release of the results.
- Spokespersons for the Arizona National Guard and the U.S. Army said their agencies aren’t involved.
A GOP-orchestrated review of 2020 election ballots in Maricopa County continues to generate speculative falsehoods on social media.
"Military ready to act on audit results!" in Arizona, the text on a June 29 Facebook post reads.
The text accompanies a 10-minute pro-Trump video in which the narrator makes no mention of the military but praises the review of the Arizona ballots.
"This stuff is coming out and showing what actually happened with the 2020 election. So, this is what's happening but the deep state on the other hand, they are panicking," the narrator said, adding "The storm is on its way."
The Facebook post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The text on the post leaves the impression that a military unit is preparing or has been asked to take some action when the results of the Maricopa audit are released. But we found no evidence of that.
The statement on Facebook was posted as the monthslong review of 2.1 million ballots cast in the 2020 presidential election was winding down in Maricopa, the state’s largest county. The ballot review was organized by state Senate Republicans, with encouragement from former President Donald Trump.
Election experts, including Republicans, have criticized the ballot review as partisan and amateurish and said it doesn’t follow typical auditing standards. The state Senate is expected to release the findings later this summer, but experts have said the results can’t be trusted. Regardless of the findings, the election results showing that Joe Biden beat Donald Trump will stand, as certified by state officials.
The reference to the military in the Facebook post is vague about what group is standing "ready." But spokespersons for state and federal units said their agencies are not involved in responding to the Maricopa ballot review.
"There is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of elections, and we are not involved in reviewing ballots in Arizona," Jason Waggoner, a spokesperson for the U.S. Army, told PolitiFact.
David Nunn, spokesperson for the Arizona National Guard, told PolitiFact that the Guard "has not received any requests to support the Arizona audit."
The role of the Guard is to respond to requests from other government agencies in times of emergency, such as wildfires, the pandemic or civil unrest. So the Guard could be called on if such an emergency arises. But there is no evidence that the Guard has any active plans to respond to the ballot review.
Sophia Solis, a spokesperson for the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, said the office was not aware of any military preparation or involvement. A spokesperson for the audit, Randy Pullen, also said he was not aware of any plans involving the military.
A Facebook post accompanying a video about a ballot review in Arizona’s Maricopa County said the military is "ready to act on audit results!"
The post contained no evidence to back up that claim, and we couldn’t find any either. Spokespersons for the Arizona National Guard and the U.S. Army said their agencies are not involved with the review of the ballots in Maricopa.
We rate this statement False.
Facebook post, June 29, 2021
Email interview, Sophia Solis, arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs spokesperson, June 29, 2021
Text message, Randy Pullen, spokesperson for the Republican state senate review of Maricopa ballots, June 29, 2021
Telephone interview, David Nunn, spokesperson for the Arizona National Guard, June 29, 2021
Email interview, Erika Flores, Maricopa County Elections Department spokesperson, June 29, 2021
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