Pro-Trump Group Sends Fake Documents in Attempt to Reassign Arizona's Electoral Votes

Before President-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner of the electoral college vote on Monday, some Arizona residents sent their own unsanctioned electoral votes for President Donald Trump to the National Archives this month.

According to the Arizona Republic, individuals associated with a group called "AZ Protect the Vote" turned in signed notarized documents which purported to allot Arizona's 11 electoral votes to Trump. Electors actually appointed by the Arizona state legislature cast their votes for Biden on Monday. Trump has baselessly claimed that the 2020 election was riddled with voter fraud which would make Biden's victory invalid.

"We seated before the legislators here," said Lori Osiecki, who helped craft the false certificate. "We already turned it in. We beat them to the game."

arizona pro-trumpers try to falsify electoral votes
Some Arizona supporters of President Donald Trump attempted to sway the state's Electoral College votes with false documentation in December. Al Drago/Getty

A complaint against the person that notarized the false documents was filed with the Arizona Secretary of State's office. The complaint alleged that the notarization represented a non-ethical action. "As a duly sworn and commissioned Notary Public, myself," wrote Robert McDonald, Jr. in the complaint, according to the Republic, "this fraud and malfeasance places a major black eye on those of us who do our duty faithfully and ethically."

According to a statement sent to Newsweek on Tuesday, the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) posts the Certificates of Ascertainment and Vote online for one year following the election. However, the Privacy Act prohibits the OFR from commenting on "what, if any, communication we've received except for the Certificates that are prepared and sent as part of an official State action."

Because of the controversy surrounding this year's Electoral College vote, electors in Arizona met in a secret location to cast their ballots on Monday. In Michigan, electors met in a state Senate chamber which was closed off to the public.

"The decision was not made because of anticipated protests," said Amber McCann, Deputy Chief of Staff for Michigan Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey in a Monday statement, "but was based on credible threats of violence."

Trump supporters, agitated by the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear an election challenging lawsuit filed by the state of Texas, descended upon Washington on Saturday to protest the results. Members of the alt-right group the Proud Boys were allegedly involved in some of the protests. In Olympia, Washington, 4 people were stabbed during a demonstration that local police classified as a riot. Another individual was shot during a clash near the state capitol building on Saturday.

Despite the attempts to sway the decision of the Electoral College, Biden obtained 306 electoral votes on Monday, a number greater than the 270 electoral votes required to move forward in the election process. Trump received 232 electoral votes.

In a Monday address, Biden praised American election officials for properly executing their duties. "They knew this election was overseen, it was overseen by them," Biden said. "It was honest, it was free, and it was fair. They saw it with their own eyes. And they wouldn't be bullied into saying anything different."

Updated 12/15/2020 10:38 p.m. EST: This story has been updated with a statement from the Office of the Federal Register.