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“Democracy in Doubt”

Distinguished Service to the First Amendment

The Arizona Republic, 2022

Author(s): Staff | The Arizona Republic


While the nation and the world moved on from the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, there were some in positions of power who refused to accept Joe Biden’s slim margin of victory in Arizona. The Republican-controlled state senate ordered an audit of Arizona’s presidential election results, and the state engaged an unproven, private company to do the job.

The Arizona Republic and its skilled multimedia news team sprang into action. Taking its role as First Amendment watchdogs to heart, The Arizona Republic team doggedly covered an audit process that ultimately would be held up to ridicule and discredited, in no small part thanks to The Republic’s efforts.

The team used deeply reported and sourced stories, podcasts, YouTube videos, public records request successes and more to cover and uncover the drama, bizarre political theater and intense pressures attempting to undermine the integrity of the state’s election. The Arizona Republic led the charge for transparency, gaining pool coverage access of the audit itself that shined light on a process that was suspect at best.

“Democracy in Doubt” comprises an impressive body of journalistic excellence and First Amendment advocacy. What emerged from The Arizona Republic’s work was the chilling story of a plot hatched before the election results were even in and extended through the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.