Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs promised while running for her current position in 2018 that if she were to win she would help Democrats prevail in races statewide.
Hobbs made the pledge at a Democratic candidates forum in the spring of that year, saying, “We going to do very well electing statewide Democrats, and the secretary of state’s office is how we’re going to hold on to those wins, how we’re going to continue to make gains in the legislature and really create a state that reflects all of our values.”
That does not sound like the type of partisan mindset you want in the official overseeing the state’s election, but she narrowly won.
As secretary of state, Hobbs was able to preside over some pretty big Democratic wins in November, including Joe Biden’s shocker at the top of the ticket and less surprising victory of former astronaut Mark Kelly for U.S. senator.
Biden’s win was the first time a Democratic presidential candidate had won the state since 1996 and only the second time since 1952. The election also marked the first time Arizona has had two Democratic senators since early in the last century.
With these notches in her belt, Hobbs is reportedly eyeing a gubernatorial run next year.
All this might help explain why she doth protest so much about the Republican Senate’s 2020 election audit.
The secretary’s Twitter feed is filled with disparagements about the #fraudit and the like.
She has also made multiple media appearances seeking to discredit the undertaking.
In an interview Sunday with KPNX-TV host Braham Resnik, Hobbs called the effort “a partisan fishing expedition by people who are refusing to accept the valid results of the November election and they want to continue to sow doubt in the minds of voters to serve their political agenda.”
“They’re writing the playbook here for this kind of continued disruption and relitigation and rehashing of the 2020 election,” she said.
“If they’re successful here in terms of continuing to undermine voters’ confidence, they’re going to take this on the road to other states.”
— Katie Hobbs (@katiehobbs) May 3, 2021
“It is simply designed to continue promoting the big lie that the election in 2020 was stolen,” Hobbs told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace.
“We know that that is not the case,” the secretary of state continued. “We know that this was the most secure and historically participated-in election that we’ve had.”
If the election was as secure as she claims, Hobbs should have no issue with the audit, which has observers from both parties and is open to the media’s scrutiny.
The secretary of state confirmed to KNXV-TV last week that she now has three representatives on site, following some legal wrangling in court. One is from the liberal Brennan Center for Justice and another from the Democracy Project.
A: If you mean observers placed by @SecretaryHobbs, under agreement with Senate GOP they started Thursday afternoon and were at audit site Friday & Saturday. One pair of observers inside. That’s state Elections Director Bo Dul on left on Saturday, not sure who’s on right. https://t.co/nRBaliUg2w pic.twitter.com/deX6O4YEff
— Brahm Resnik (@brahmresnik) May 3, 2021
The Brennan Center is trying to get the Department of Justice to intervene in the audit by sending federal monitors.
According to a news release from the Arizona Senate Republicans in late March, the audit will include scanning all 2.1 million paper ballots cast to look for irregularities, conducting a full manual recount, investigating the registration rolls to ensure only eligible voters voted and performing a forensic audit of the electronic voting machines and systems used.
Biden flipped Maricopa County, which encompasses the Phoenix metropolitan area, from red to blue in November, which of course in and of itself is no indicator that fraud occurred.
Biden won Maricopa by 45,100 votes, or 2.2 percent of the vote November.
That the candidates won the county by almost the exact same margin is a little odd, but again not necessarily a red flag for fraud.
Despite Biden’s victory, Republicans carried every countywide office in Maricopa, save for sheriff (which an incumbent Democrat held), including flipping the county recorder and winning the open treasurer seat.
That is odder, because it means a lot split tickets or under-voting among the 2.1 million ballots cast.
Add to this fact that very vocal Trump-supporting members of Congress, like GOP Reps. Andy Biggs and Debbie Lesko, won their re-election contests in Maricopa County districts by massive margins, and now the red flag is starting to go up.
Living in Maricopa County, I witnessed enormous car rallies and other pro-Trump events and signage last fall while out and about town, with no visible countervailing support for Biden.
Finally, the county did use the notorious Dominion Voting Systems, which proved to be problematic (whether human error or otherwise) in terms of accuracy, by thousands of votes, when hand recounts were conducted in Michigan and Georgia.
Biden won Arizona overall by 10,457 votes (0.3 percent), the closest margin of any of the swing states that went for him.
Obviously, Hobbs has a vested interest in the election results being shown accurate. She was the official in charge last November, after all, and apparently has aspirations for higher office.
Further, her stated goal back in 2018 was to get Democrats elected statewide and use her office to “hold those wins.”
For the rest of us, we just want accurate and fair elections, and there were enough oddities that Maricopa County deserves a closer look.
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