Arizona Secretary of State Certifies Presidential Election Results

Arizona Secretary of State Certifies Presidential Election Results
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden delivers a Thanksgiving address at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., on Nov. 25, 2020. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

Arizona’s secretary of state on Monday certified the state’s presidential election results.

“This was a historic election for several reasons. Preparing for any election is an immense undertaking, even in normal circumstances. The complexity this year has been compounded by the pandemic. In spite of this, we had an extremely well-run election and saw historically high voter participation,” Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, said in a press conference.

“Despite the many challenges, Arizonians showed up for our democracy. Every Arizona voter has my thanks, and should know that they can stand proud that this election was conducted with transparency, accuracy, and fairness, in accordance with Arizona’s laws and elections procedures despite numerous unfounded claims to the contrary.”

Hobbs challenged claims of election fraud, saying all voting machines are certified by a federal commission and reviewed by state officials, that credentialed poll observers witnessed all ballot tabulating, and cameras were in ballot tabulation centers with live streams able to be viewed over the Internet.

Few people were present at the certification meeting because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Doug Ducey, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, and Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court Robert Brutinel were present.

Ducey, a Republican, said people suggested not having in-person voting because of the pandemic but he fought to keep the system in place.

“The votes have been tabulated. All 15 counties have certified their results,” Ducey said. In a separate statement, he said he’s grateful to voters, county officials, county recorders, and poll workers “for their dedication to the success of our election system.”

President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Thanksgiving in Washington on Nov. 26, 2020. (Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Thanksgiving in Washington on Nov. 26, 2020. (Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was certified as the winner of Arizona. He beat President Donald Trump by about 10,500 votes out of 3.4 million cast, according to Hobbs’ website.

Trump won Arizona in 2016 over Hillary Clinton by about 91,000 votes.

Officials will choose Electoral College voters later, all of whom are expected to vote for Biden next month. Arizona law bans so-called faithless electors who vote for the candidate who didn’t win a state.

The certification took place at the same time some state lawmakers in Phoenix were hearing of concerns of election integrity from President Donald Trump’s lawyers, experts, and witnesses.

Rudy Giuliani, one of the lawyers, said that the state legislature should hold a vote to take back control of certifying the election.

“You, the legislature of Arizona, have the plenary power to regulate the selection of electors in a presidential election,” he said, adding that the Supreme Court has ruled that state Houses and Senates can reclaim the power to name electors.

Jenna Ellis, another campaign lawyer, said in a statement: “The certification of Arizona’s FALSE results is unethical and knowingly participating in the corruption that has disenfranchised AZ voters. BUT, this in no way impacts the state legislature’s ability to take back the proper selection of delegates.”

The certification makes official Mark Kelly’s win over Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.). Kelly, a Democrat, is slated to be sworn into office this week because he won the seat in a special election. The seat was held by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) until he died in 2018, eventually triggering the appointment of McSally by Ducey.

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.