Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on May 6, 2021. (AP/York) Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on May 6, 2021. (AP/York)

Maricopa County ballots cast in the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors working for Florida-based company, Cyber Ninjas, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix on May 6, 2021. (AP/York)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher September 30, 2021

Trump backers paid nearly all the $6 million cost of Ariz. ballot review

If Your Time is short

  • Trump supporters, not taxpayers, covered nearly all of the nearly $6 million cost to review the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa County, Ariz.

  • Arizona’s Senate agreed to contribute $150,000 toward the review, and the county is spending $3 million in taxpayer funds to purchase new vote-counting equipment to replace machines that it says were compromised by the ballot review.

A widely shared Instagram post wrongly claims that taxpayers paid for a review of ballots from the 2020 presidential election in Arizona’s largest county.

The review was sought by Donald Trump and his supporters and ordered by Republicans in the state Senate. The final report issued Sept. 24 confirmed that Trump lost to Joe Biden in Maricopa County, actually by a larger margin than the county’s official canvass counted.

"This sham recount cost the tax payers $6 million," the post stated. "That's right, WE paid our own hard earned dollars for Trump to have his bull---- recount, which proved he actually lost by more votes than we even originally thought."

The 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.)

While the Republicans have referred to the review as an "audit," election experts say that it did not follow typical post-election auditing procedures and lacked credibility.

The review found that Biden had 45,469 more votes than Trump in Maricopa, roughly in line with the official results certified in November 2020. According to the report issued by Cyber Ninjas, the firm hired to conduct the review, Biden’s margin of victory was 360 votes larger than the county’s official canvass showed.

The margin helped Biden beat Trump in Arizona by about 10,500 votes, the first time a Democratic presidential nominee had won there since 1996.

News stories have been clear that Trump supporters by and large picked up the tab.

Groups tied to the "stop the steal" movement and other efforts to cast doubt on the 2020 results raised nearly all of the $6 million to fund the inquiry, Reuters reported.

The Arizona Mirror reported on the five pro-Trump nonprofits that raised the nearly $5.7 million.

Arizona’s Senate agreed to spend $150,000 on the review, plus security and facility costs, which "pales in comparison to the nearly $5.7 million contributed as of late July by Trump allies," the Associated Press reported

However, Maricopa County decided to spend nearly $3 million for new vote-counting machines, saying the old machines were compromised in the review because they were in the control of firms not accredited to handle election equipment, AP reported.

Our ruling

An Instagram post said Arizona’s ballot review cost taxpayers $6 million.

Trump supporters, not taxpayers, paid the bulk of the nearly $6 million it cost to review ballots in Maricopa County. 

Taxpayers contributed $150,000 toward the review, plus $3 million for new vote-counting machines to replace machines that the county decided had been compromised during the review.

We rate the post Mostly False.

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Tom Kertscher

Trump backers paid nearly all the $6 million cost of Ariz. ballot review

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up