Arizona GOP Pressures Counties To Delay Vote Certification; Hobbs Reports Threats
The Arizona Republican Party is pressuring county officials across the state to delay their certification of election results — even though there hasn’t been any evidence of legitimate questions about the vote tally showing that Democrat Joe Biden won the state's presidential contest.
The GOP is seeking a court order to postpone Maricopa County’s certification. The certification is expected on Thursday or Friday, ahead of the Nov. 23 deadline for counties to approved election results.
Mohave County officials were scheduled Monday to certify results but instead postponed that vote until Nov. 23. Other counties are pressing ahead with their certifications.
“The party is pushing for not only the county supervisors but everyone responsible for certifying and canvassing the election to make sure that all questions are answered so that voters will have confidence in the results of the election,” said Zach Henry, a spokesman for the Arizona Republican Party.
The state GOP has filed a legal challenge seeking a new hand-count of a sampling of ballots in Maricopa County and a court order prohibiting the county from certifying election results until its case is decided by a judge.
Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ office said the Republican Party’s true intent in filing the case was to delay and undermine the certification of election results.
“This case is about delay — not the adjudication of good faith claims,” Hobbs’ lawyers said in a court filing.
She also said in a statement Wednesday that she and her family have been threatened with violence. She not disclose the source, nature or motive behind the threats.
Hobbs criticized Republicans from President Donald Trump down to Gov. Doug Ducey for failing to halt what she called “disinformation.”
“It is well past time that they stop. Their words and actions have consequences,” Hobbs said in a statement. “Now, I am calling on other leaders in this state, including the governor whose deafening silence has contributed to the growing unrest, to stand up for the truth."
The GOP lawsuit focuses on an audit of a sampling of ballots that is required to test the accuracy of tabulated results.
Maricopa County has already completed the audit and said no discrepancies were found.
But the state party still wants the sample measured on a precinct level, rather than the audit that was conducted of the county’s new vote centers, which let people vote at any location across the county.
Biden won Arizona by 10,000 votes and Maricopa County, the state's most populous, put Biden over the top.
The county performed a hand count of a set of ballots the weekend following the election that showed its machine counts were 100% accurate.
Election officials were running routine post-election accuracy tests on the counting machines on Wednesday with observers from both parties in attendance.
Clint Hickman, a Republican who is chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said in a letter Tuesday to voters that there was no evidence or fraud, misconduct or malfunction in the county’s elections.
“It is time to dial back the rhetoric, rumors, and false claims,” Hickman wrote.
When postponing Mohave County’s certification until Nov. 23, members of the county’s Board of Supervisors cited what they said was uncertainty about the fate of election challenges across the country, while still expressing confidence in county’s own election process.
Supervisor Ron Gould, who led the effort to postpone the certification, maintains Arizona is still in play politically.
“There are lawsuits all over the place on everything, and that’s part of the reason why I’m in no big hurry to canvass the election,” Gould said.