Was the Arizona Governor’s Election Stolen?

Was the Arizona Governor’s election between Republican Kari Lake and Democrat Katie Hobbs stolen last fall? Arizona voters and the rest of the nation have pondered this question, and the answer seems to depend on who you ask. Everyone seems ready to deliver a quick answer - and they have the evidence to support it!

Katie Hobbs. Credit Christian Peterson/Getty Images. Kari Lake. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images. Background: Canva
Katie Hobbs. Credit Christian Peterson/Getty Images. Kari Lake. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images. Background: Canva

“Do Your Research”

Passionate conversations on hot topics like this one have been floating around the ‘verse since the inception of social media, and the fire seems to be getting hotter.

A lot of digital ink has been spilled on the power of social media and the influence it has on social issues, elections, the news cycle, political matters, and myriad other topics. With Elon Musk’s recent release of the Twitter Files, there’s little doubt the purveyors of social media platforms, as well as many users, understand the power they wield in the growing digital media space.

The Earth is Flat. Credit Kajetan Sumila/Getty Images
The Earth is Flat. Credit Kajetan Sumila/Getty Images

No matter what your bias, web users can find evidence to support ANY argument they have. Be it a conspiracy-laced diatribe (cue: flat earther’s “proof”) or something as simple as the ability to prove the sky is blue. (Spoiler: it’s really not.) No matter what your belief or bias, you can find the “proof” you need to back it up.

The Twitter Files Release Proves You Can’t Trust Social Media

Does the release of the so-called Twitter Files by Elon Musk expose “conspiracy” of shadow banning and outright censorship of voices that social media platforms personally disagree with, under the guise of “hate speech” and “community guidelines”?

According to The Epoch Times article on December 8, 2022, “Bari Weiss, founder and editor of The Free Press, released the second volume of the so-called “Twitter files”…revealing the social media platform’s “secret blacklists.”

“Weiss…Elon Musk and independent journalist Matt Taibbi [have been working] to disclose internal Twitter information regarding censorship.”

This release was the second installment in a series of “bombshell” inside-Twitter information dumps, with the promise of more to come. Does this prove the social media platform has being doing what it was accused of? Silencing the voices it did not agree with. And if this was Twitter’s modus operandi, is it safe to assume Facebook, YouTube and others follow a similar protocol?

The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" - Arrivals
Elon Musk. Credit Pimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum

Genius or Madman?

Whether you love or hate Elon Musk, think he’s a genius or a lunatic, Musk is shining a light on something many have long suspected. In the effort to mitigate hate speech and misinformation, the “man behind the curtain” wields the power to silence not only the ugly voices, but also opinions that run counter to the platform's main political leanings and so-called “woke” political ideology.

Does this prove that cries of shadow banning are valid? Since this accusation has been highlighted by the likes of Donald Trump and Kanye West who align with the far right, some have questioned the credibility of the statements. Are Musk’s revelations changing perceptions?

AZ Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Katie Hobbs Holds Election Night Event
Katie Hobbs. Credit: Christian Peterson/Getty Images

Was the 2022 Arizona Governor’s Election Stolen?

With the power of the internet and social media and its ever more obvious ability to skew perception, can we trust the answers we get when asking the question, "was the 2022 Arizona Governor’s Election stolen?" This is the perfect example of “it depends on who you ask.” If you do your research as many adamantly insist you should, you’ll get whichever answer best suits your confirmation bias.

On November 8th, 2022, The National Review published, ‘I Hope It’s Not Malice’: Kari Lake Suggests Partisan Interference May Be Behind Maricopa Tabulator Problems - an article that points to voting machine troubles in Maricopa County during the day of the election. It’s no secret Kari Lake herself believes the election was stolen, tampered with, or at the very least, tabulated incorrectly.

GOP Candidates Attend Arizona Republican Party Election Night Event
Kari Lake. Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

While a recent Daily Beast article headlined “Kari Lake Officially Loses Arizona Gov. Election, Again”. No one would dispute the Daily Beast’s left bent, and most are clear on the right-leaning National Review. While both online publications have made their biases abundantly clear, the average internet user may cite articles like these as “proof” to back up an argument.

Somali cat inside box
If I Fits. I Sits. Credit: grase/Getty Stock/ThinkStock

So, WAS the Election Stolen?

The answer is “Yes”. And the Answer is “No”. And it’s also, “Maybe”.

In the murky land of social media and online news and opinion sites, your favorite confirmation-bias-tribe-members all scream as loudly as they like. The question is, do you listen? Just make up your own mind, and then YOU can ignore it all return to the internet’s true purpose: Cat Memes.

More From K101