Kari Lake, a Republican running for governor of Arizona, said Monday that Democrat gubernatorial candidate and Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs should recuse herself from overseeing the 2022 election while she’s on the ballot.
Lake’s campaign said in a July 19 statement that Hobbs, who the campaign called “the most partisan Secretary of State in the history of Arizona,” should step down from her duties in administering the 2022 election, citing “Hobbs’ history of irrational bias and disdain toward Republicans” and reports of election investigators reporting “serious issues affecting tens-of-thousands of ballots and voters” in the 2020 election that the Secretary of State oversaw.
Arizona’s GOP-led state Senate last week held a hearing amid a months-long forensic audit of election results in Phoenix’s Maricopa County, led by Florida-based cybersecurity firm Cyber Ninjas. Teams conducting the audit said at the hearing that they found several major discrepancies.
Doug Logan, CEO of Cyber Ninjas, told senators at the Arizona state Capitol that auditors could find no record of the county sending more than 74,000 mail-in ballots. He also said auditors found approximately 18,000 people voted but were removed from voter rolls “soon after the election, 11,326 people who were not on the voter rolls on Nov. 7, 2020, but appeared on the rolls on Dec. 4, 2020, and 3,981 people who voted after registering after Oct. 15, 2020.”
The Lake campaign’s statement made reference to these discrepancies and noted “dozens more serious issues” laid out during the senate hearing.
“I am simply looking out for the voters and Conservative candidates up-and-down the ballot,” Lake said in a statement. “It’s not always easy to stand-up and speak-out, but someone’s got to do the right thing.”
“The right thing is to demand Katie Hobbs recuse herself from everything involving the 2022 election,” Lake said, adding that Hobbs “is running for Governor and can’t be trusted to handle the Secretary of State duties involving those of us Republicans also on the ticket.”
“Millions of Arizonans, including myself, don’t believe we will have a fair election with Katie Hobbs at the helm. We’ve seen proof of this with the debacle of 2020,” Lake said.
Hobbs’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Lake’s statement.
However, Hobbs on July 17 retweeted an article from The Associated Press, which called the Cyber Ninjas’ claims of some 74,000 mail-in ballots received by Maricopa County with no record of being sent out to voters as a “false narrative” that was not based on proper early voting reports.
Maricopa County officials wrote in a tweet on Friday that they calculated the true number of mail-in ballots requested and returned in November’s election, with their count showing nearly 450,000 more mail-in ballots requested than returned.
Rod Thomson, a public relations consultant working for Cyber Ninjas, told The Associated Press that Maricopa County refused to answer questions posed by the audit team in private, forcing Logan to ask for explanations in public.
“Mr. Logan never said this was fraud or criminal, he merely stated the facts as they were provided to him and did not have an explanation,” Thomson told the outlet. “None of this would be necessary if the county would simply communicate with the audit team when there are questions.”
Jack Sellers, the Republican chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement last week that the auditors are “portraying as suspicious what is actually normal and well known to people who work in elections” and that, “in some cases, they dropped bombshell numbers that are simply not accurate.”
Former President Donald Trump weighed in on the Arizona Senate hearing last week, saying it showed fraud and voting irregularities at sufficient scale to change the outcome of the presidential election in the state.
Records show President Joe Biden received around 10,500 more votes than Trump in Arizona, out of some 3.4 million ballots cast.