The liberal political commentator, who, along with election officials, has heavily criticized the GOP-led Arizona Senate audit in Maricopa County and raised the alarm about similar efforts looking for potential fraud and irregularities in places such as Michigan, told her audience on Wednesday the question now is whether a "nationwide solution is required to stop this mess."
Maddow referred to Kristen Clarke, who was confirmed this week by the Senate to head the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, as someone who could get involved as she argued that state election officials "playing whack-a-mole" can't stop efforts by allies of former President Donald Trump questioning the integrity of the 2020 election.
"One of the things they could get involved in at the federal level to try to set a national expectation, a national standard here, to draw bright lines about what can't be done, is around these slap-dash, privately run, bonkers, corrupting third-party audits of the last election," she stated.
The Justice Department did express concerns about the developments in Maricopa County earlier this month, warning the audit and recount, being led by contractors hired by the Arizona Senate, might run afoul of federal law. And on the state level, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, told officials in Maricopa County, who have been critical of the Senate-commissioned 2020 election audit, she would consider decertifying election equipment subpoenaed if the county moves to reuse the equipment in future elections.
But without a national response, Maddow pressed, "I'm telling you this thing is a runaway train."
After telling her audience last week that the GOP-backed election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, will become a "very dangerous" story, the opinion host ratcheted up her rhetoric on Monday in response to the news that Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based consulting firm that was hired as the lead auditor, had been picked to testify in a lingering election-related lawsuit in Antrim County, Michigan.
Maddow took note of a statement by former President Donald Trump, one of several praising the Antrim County audit and predicting "startling" results with implications in other states, and a lawyer for Cyber Ninjas asking a court to keep its methods under seal as trade secrets in a lawsuit filed by Democrats who argue that the audit violates state election security laws. Specifically, she read a passage in the filing that says the firm "expects to have similar business opportunities to undertake such work for other governments around the country."