Every other year, the Arizona Secretary of State is required by statute to submit a draft of an updated election procedures manual to the Arizona Governor and Arizona Attorney General for approval. This year, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich told Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs that she needed to make several changes in order for it to be in compliance with the law, but she refused.
Brnovich responded to her in a letter on December 10, “As Arizona’s Chief Legal Officer, I have a responsibility to assure that the EPM conforms to the law. As a reminder, election officials who violate its provisions (which are hundreds of pages long) are guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor. Through the red-lined document provided to you yesterday, I have provided clear direction on what changes need to be made to assure the EPM does not unnecessarily expose election officials and workers to criminal penalties.”
Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor of Arizona, labeled people on the right racist, but now admits she herself is racist. A jury found that her former staffer at the Arizona Legislature, Talonya Adams, was wrongly fired due to racism, and Hobbs admitted her culpability in an interview with The Arizona Republic on Wednesday.
Hobbs told the Republic, “Looking back there are probably a lot of things that I would have done differently. I know that in proceeding in her termination, I participated in furthering systemic racism.” The jury awarded $2.5 million to Adams because of the discrimination.
The results of the Maricopa County ballot audit has many elected officials demanding accountability and action. Arizona State Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, issued a statement denouncing the fraud that the audit uncovered, and recommended conducting a statewide audit.
Bolick said in a recent campaign update, criticizing Democratic election officials Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, “Who is surprised that Secretary Hobbs and the former Maricopa County Recorder Fontes bent the rules last year, taking advantage of Covid to consistently undermine our election processes? It didn’t stop in 2020. They continued to obstruct the State Senate’s audit to serve justice. Then we saw how Maricopa County refused to turn over election routers despite a subpoena, but it went deeper. Throughout the audit report, it was clear that at almost every point Maricopa County was uncooperative in providing important context and information. They disrupted the audit processes by deleting logs, files, and important documents from the Election Management System.”
A new poll from OH Predictive Insights shows former news anchor Kari Lake with the highest approval rate of Republicans running for governor of Arizona and Attorney General Mark Brnovich with the highest approval rate of Republicans running for the U.S. Senate. Lake scored 60% with Republican voters, well ahead of former Congressman Matt Salmon with 51% and former State Treasurer Kimberly Yee at 49%. On the Senate side, Brnovich has 61% compared to veteran Michael McGuire next with 43% and businessman Jim Lamon’s 39%. Blake Masters, a protege of GOP tech billionaire Peter Thiel, entered the race after the poll was conducted.
According to a general election matchup, Hobbs’ approval rating is slightly higher than Lake’s, 40% to 39%. Hobbs has very high name recognition due to her high-profile fight against the Maricopa County ballot audit. Hobbs also has a fairly high disapproval rating relative to the other candidates in the poll, 27%. She once referred to Donald Trump supporters as “neo-Nazis.” She also tweeted “The President is on the side of the freaking Nazis. Don’t just say stuff – DO SOMETHING!!!” She has not deleted the tweets.
Beau Lane, a Phoenix advertising executive, announced that he will launch a campaign for Secretary of State — a position within the state that has gained national attention.
According to the video announcing his candidacy and his campaign website, Lane will attempt to cast himself as an “outsider” with solutions to improve the office. “We need a citizen and a leader, not a career politician, to restore faith and trust in our democratic institutions,” his website reads.
Maricopa County intends to replace all of its election machines, due to concerns that the audit compromised the equipment. The county’s Dominion Democracy Suite 5.5B voting system was turned over to Arizona Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) and Senate Majority Leader Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert) through subpoena earlier this year. The Senate contracted with a private company, Cyber Ninjas, to conduct the audit.
Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel confirmed on Monday the county’s intent to replace their entire fleet of voting machines in a reply letter to Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
Amove by Arizona Republicans this week to strip the Arizona secretary of state of some of her litigation powers signals another escalation of conflict between state Democratic and Republican officials amid a bitterly divisive ongoing audit of the 2020 election results of the state’s largest county.