The audit in Arizona may upend the 2020 Presidential election but it could reshape the US Senate as well.
Let’s not forget, the audit in Arizona covers both the Presidential race and the Senate race. In November, Democrat Kelly beat Republican McSally by 78,806 votes statewide.
In Maricopa County the total difference between candidates is about the same amount with the Democrat winning by 80,183 votes:
Therefore, if the audit shows that McSally won Maricopa County, then she would win the state as well.
There’s little information out there related to a situation where fraud or errors were discovered that lead to a change of winners in a US Senate race. However, we expect that if fraud was the reason for the difference with reality, then the seat would go to the winner per the legitimate audit.
There is some information on what to do when a Senate seat becomes vacant (but this doesn’t involve fraud being the reason for the vacancy):
Senate seats become vacant for a variety of reasons — the Senator dies in office, resigns in disgrace or resigns to assume another position, usually, an elected or appointed government position.
Procedures for electing Senators are outlined in Article I, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, as later amended by paragraph 2 of the Seventeenth (17th) Amendment. Ratified in 1913, the 17th Amendment not only changed how Senators are to be elected (direct election by popular vote) but it also outlined how Senate vacancies are to be filled:
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
However, these laws do not seem to be the case in Arizona because the winner most likely will be the winner of the valid count of votes, not the number currently in the books.
This is a big deal because if McSally replaces Kelly in the Senate, the US Senate immediately has a Republican majority and the members and the bills discussed will be designated by the Republicans.