Arizona certifies 2022 election despite GOP complaints

PHOENIX (AP) — Top Arizona officials have certified the midterm elections results on Monday, formalizing Democrats’ victories over Republicans who falsely claimed the 2020 election was rigged.

The certification opens a five-day window for formal electoral challenges. Republican Kari Lake, who lost the gubernatorial race, is expected to file a lawsuit in the coming days after spending weeks criticizing the administration of the election.

Election results were widely certified without issue across the country, but Arizona was an exception. Several Republican-controlled counties have delayed certification despite no evidence of problems with the vote count. Cochise County in southeastern Arizona missed a deadline last week, forcing a judge to intervene Thursday and order county supervisors to certify the election by the end of the day.

“Arizona had a successful election,” said Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who beat Lake in the gubernatorial race, said before signing the certification. “But too often throughout the process, powerful voices proliferated misinformation that threatened to disenfranchise voters.”

The statewide certification, known as the doorstep, was signed by Hobbs, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, a Ducey appointee.

When the same group certified the 2020 election, Ducey silenced a call from then-President Donald Trump, who at the time was in a frantic push to persuade Republican allies to follow his attempts to overturn the elections he had lost.

“It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly,” Ducey said. “It’s the one that recognizes the votes cast by the citizens of our great state.”

Republicans have complained for weeks about Hobbs’ role in certifying his own victory, though it’s typical for election officials to maintain their position. when applying for higher positions. Lake and his allies focused on problems with ballot printers that produced about 17,000 ballots that could not be tabulated on site and had to be counted at the Department of Elections headquarters.

Lines piled up at some polling places, fueling Republican suspicions that some supporters were unable to vote, although there was no evidence it affected the outcome. County officials say everyone was able to vote and all legal ballots were counted.

Hobbs immediately asked the Maricopa County Superior Court to begin an automatic statewide recount required by law in three races decided by less than half a percentage point. The race for attorney general was one of the tightest contests in state history, with Democrat Kris Mayes leading Republican Abe Hamadeh by just 510 votes out of 2.5 million voters.

Races for superintendent of public instruction and a state legislative seat in suburban Phoenix will also be recounted, but the margins are much larger.

Once a Republican stronghold, Arizona’s top races have been resounding for Democrats after Republicans named a slate of Trump-backed candidates who have focused on backing his bogus claims about the 2020 election. Besides Hobbs and Mayes, Democratic Senator Mark Kelly won re-election, and Democrat Adrian Fontes won the race for Secretary of State.


This story has been corrected to show that Fontes ran for Secretary of State, not Attorney General, and that Arizona was once a Republican stronghold, not a Democrat.

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