A two-time failed congressional candidate who has defended utilizing the n-word and spouted COVID-19 conspiracy theories has apparently develop into a extremely sought-after “skilled” for Republicans conducting sham election audits.
Maybe it’s no shock, as Shiva Ayyadurai’s baseless election fraud claims predate even these of Donald Trump. After shedding his second congressional bid in 2020, Ayyadurai recognized what he claimed was the reason for his loss: the mass destruction of ballots.
“Massachusetts Destroys Over 1 MILLION Ballots in US SENATE PRIMARY RACE committing #ElectionFraud,” Ayyadurai tweeted in September 2020, after shedding his major race.
By no means thoughts that the ballots had not been destroyed, or that Massachusetts officers upheld Ayyadurai’s loss. His declare of election fraud foreshadowed Trump’s personal claims of election malfeasance later that yr. Now Ayyadurai, who backs Trump’s election fraud claims, has been employed by Arizona’s Republican-controlled state senate to work on an ongoing “audit” of the 2020 presidential election this summer season, regardless of election officers there already repeatedly confirming that Joe Biden received.
In a latest podcast, a former Trump official prompt that Ayyadurai’s providers had been additionally being sought by Wisconsin legislators for the same audit in their very own state.
Ayyadurai has been employed twice to work on Arizona’s chaotic election audit: as soon as by the state senate and as soon as by Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based tech agency that’s conducting the audit, regardless of complaints that its CEO has promoted election fraud conspiracy theories.
Though Ayyadurai’s involvement with the audit was not public information till this month, his contracts with the state senate and Cyber Ninjas had been amongst hundreds of pages of audit-related paperwork launched throughout a lawsuit by the transparency group American Oversight. These contracts, first reported by the Arizona Republic, confirmed Ayyadurai’s firm placing two $50,000 offers to “review” ballots, starting in July.
Neither Ayyadurai nor a spokesperson for the audit returned requests for remark.
That spokesperson, Randy Pullen, advised the Republic that Ayyadurai had first come to his consideration when he made a presentation at an occasion hosted by former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani in November 2020. Arizona Rep. Mark Finchem (R) later launched Ayyadurai to individuals concerned with the Arizona audit, Pullen mentioned. (Finchem, who didn’t instantly return requests for remark, is a staunch audit supporter, and sold T-shirts this year in assist of election fraud claims. He tweeted footage of himself amongst a raucous crowd outdoors the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and released text messages between himself and an organizer of the Jan. 6 rally, though he has not been accused of against the law and there’s no proof he entered the constructing.)
Different paperwork from the American Oversight lawsuit recommend a long-standing relationship between Ayyadurai and pro-audit Arizona legislators.
“‘The Legislature has obtained voluminous proof and testimony,” reads a Jan. 1 letter to then-Vice President Mike Pence, signed by 10 Arizona lawmakers (together with Finchem). “One instance is the testimony of Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, Ph.D. (M.I.T.), on Nov. 30, 2020; Dr. Ayyadurai is likely one of the most revered mathematicians and consultants in sample recognition in America engaged within the examination of election leads to the entire contested states. He concludes that the one rationalization for the precise voting leads to Arizona is that 130 % of Democrats voted for candidate Biden and a -30 % voted for President Trump, and 100% of Republicans voted for President Trump, with ‘no get together affiliation’ voters break up 36 % for Biden, 58 % for the president. In his phrases, such a demographic distribution is ‘extremely implausible.’”
Actually, Arizona election officers have repeatedly confirmed Biden’s victory within the state—and Ayyadurai’s status is considerably extra controversial than the glowing letter prompt.
A tech entrepreneur, Ayyadurai claims to have invented electronic mail within the late Nineteen Seventies. The declare has drawn skepticism from technologists, who observe that electronic mail expertise was already in use on the time. In 2018, Ayyadurai ran for Congress as an impartial towards Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in a marketing campaign that noticed him rub shoulders with far-right figures. During an appearance on a white nationalist’s YouTube present, Ayyadurai repeatedly used the n-word, defending its utilization as a result of “we’re all n—ers on the white liberal deep state reservation.” An open neo-Nazi who has called for the murder and torture of Jews was additionally a visitor on the identical episode, though not on the identical time. Elsewhere throughout his ill-fated marketing campaign, Ayyadurai retweeted a QAnon slogan. He additionally participated in a 4chan-flavored ritual with an alt-right character who had beforehand attended the lethal Charlottesville white supremacist rally and (the day earlier than assembly with Ayyadurai) had tweeted a Nazi-themed soccer meme. He received lower than 4 % of the vote.
Undeterred, Ayyadurai ran for Congress once more in 2020, this time as a Republican. When he misplaced his major, he blamed election fraud, falsely claiming that ballots had been destroyed. (State election officers famous that Ayyadurai might have requested a recount, however failed to take action on time.)
Ayyadurai additionally made headlines that yr after he went all-in on COVID-19 conspiracy theories, falsely claiming that the illness might be cured with nutritional vitamins and that Dr. Anthony Fauci of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses was a “deep state plant.”
That file didn’t dissuade Arizona auditors from bringing Ayyadurai on board. Contracts present that his firm EchoMail obtained two $50,000 contracts (one from Cyber Ninjas and one from Arizona’s Senate) to review ballots within the audit, which has already drawn scrutiny for its ties with different election conspiracy theorists.
Ayyadurai’s title has additionally been floated in tried audits in two different states. In Windham, New Hampshire, election truthers attempted to launch their very own audit earlier this yr. Ayyadurai was prompt throughout a town board meeting as a potential audit chief, though he was not chosen.
And in Wisconsin, the place Republican lawmakers have launched a renewed effort to “audit” Biden’s 2020 victory within the state, Ayyadurai may be within the operating for a job. (Neither the Republican Speaker of Wisconsin’s Home, nor a Republican lawmaker spearheading the audit effort returned requests for remark.) During a recent appearance on former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast, former Trump chief of employees Reince Priebus prompt that Wisconsin lawmakers had been courting Ayyadurai.
“They’re indicating they’re going to herald Dr. Shiva, as nicely, to assist on the forensic audit,” Priebus mentioned.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/gop-election-truthers-tap-a-failed-politician-and-conspiracy-theorist-for-sham-audit?supply=articles&through=rss | GOP Election Truthers Faucet a Failed Politician and Conspiracy Theorist for Sham Audit