Arizona Certifies Midterm Election Results as Kari Lake Clings to Fraud Claims

Arizona certified the 2022 election results on Monday despite pending litigation from Republicans following a tumultuous period of slow vote processing, tabulator malfunctions in a key county, and unsubstantiated GOP claims of fraud.

Democratic governor-elect Katie Hobbs, who presided over the vote as secretary of state, Republican governor Doug Ducey, and other state officials met the deadline to certify the results over the objections of Arizona Republicans who insist on further investigation to determine whether the outcome is fraudulent.

In Maricopa County on Election Day, 31 percent of polling places experienced printing problems that caused some ballots to be printed in a way that prevented some of the precinct-based tabulators from reading them. Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake seized on the tabulator issues to excuse her lackluster performance, accusing officials in the state’s most populous county of disenfranchising voters. Last week, the county concluded in a report that the complications did not ultimately compromise the freeness or fairness of the election, given that voters were presented with alternative methods of submitting their ballots.

Lake, who rose to prominence in part by embracing Donald Trump’s unfounded 2020 election claims, has insisted that the midterm election outcome is also illegitimate, partially because of the problems in Maricopa County.

After the tabulator mishaps, the former TV anchor lobbied for Maricopa County to delay certification of the 2022 election and for an investigation into its conduct on Election Day. Lake, who has not yet conceded to Hobbs, sued Maricopa County election officials last month, alleging that election laws were violated.

During a Monday appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Lake promised to level more legal action against state election officials: “We’re sick of @katiehobbs’ office and the Secretary of State’s office and what they’ve been up to. And we’re going to start fighting back, and we’re going to be drawing up some lawsuits in our elections… We have too much to save in this country.”

Hobbs, who runs Arizona’s elections as secretary of state, is expected to officially order three recounts in tight races for attorney general, state superintendent, and a state House seat in the Phoenix area. Lake and defeated Republican attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh have accused Hobbs of using her position as the state’s top elections official to secure her own victory in the gubernatorial race. Hobbs should have recused herself from managing the state’s election while running a campaign, Lake and other Republicans have argued.

“Arizona had a successful election,” Hobbs said. “But too often throughout the process, powerful voices proliferated misinformation that threatened to disenfranchise voters. Democracy prevailed, but it’s not out of the woods. 2024 will bring a host of challenges from the election denial community that we must prepare for.”

Last month, Hobbs sued Republican-dominated Cochise County for refusing to certify her victory against Lake by the required date. The county said it was delaying the process until after it reviewed testimony from individuals who had objections to certification.

“Cochise County had a statutory duty to certify the results of the 2022 General Election by today. My office has filed a lawsuit to ensure all voters have their votes counted,” Hobbs tweeted.

By Monday, all 15 state counties, including Cochise, cooperated to certify the election results.

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