Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs criticizes GOP election audit
Republicans in Arizona have been criticized for their scrutiny of ballot papers in Maricopa County based on the lies former President Trump told about the 2020 election. Arizona Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs spoke to CBSN's Tanya Rivero about her recount concerns, which are based on former President Donald Trump's lies about the election.
- The Republicans in Arizona are close to considering the 2020 presidential election. The process may take at least another month. The state Senate has counted ballots in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix. The premise of the test is based on former President Trump's lies about his 2020 election loss. The recount may not change President Biden's victory in Grand Canyon State, but some fear the impact it could have on electoral integrity.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is among those raising concerns. The first-time Democrat oversees the confirmation of the state's election results. Last week Hobbs sent a letter to former GOP Secretary of State Ken Bennett overseeing the exam. She called on the Senate to pass laws and procedures to ensure accuracy, safety and transparency or to stop the recount.
We have Katie Hobbs with us today. She comes to us from Phoenix. Secretary, welcome. Nice to have you with us. Let us know some of your specific concerns about conducting this audit. Do you think it is against the electoral law?
KATIE HOBBS: Well what we know from what we saw when our experts were in the room and that procedure is that the Cyberninjas published about how they are doing this audit, number one, there is certainly not adequate security . both in terms of the way in which the ballot papers are kept and in relation to the chain of keeping the ballots. There is insufficient security around the equipment and certainly the procedures in terms of how you would conduct a post-election exam if you wanted to review the election results do not seem to be up to par.
There is a concern about checking people who are there and the ballots are counting. This is a very partisan effort, so it is by no means independent. So there are numerous concerns. Most importantly, the procedures that were performed undermine any type of valid result you would get through this exam.
- Law. It seems strange that only one side is conducting and monitoring the test and that side clearly has a vested interest in having the result achieved in a certain way. So that's not a good sign of transparency or fairness. Your office usually oversees elections and their certifications. Why can't you be more directly involved in running this Republican review?
KATIE HOBBS: Well, this is really an extra legal audit or what is called an audit. There really are no legal parameters for this kind of thing. And these people are really writing the game book here in Arizona to try in other states. They want to go to Michigan, they want to go to Georgia. Indeed, it is an exercise designed to further undermine public confidence in our elections, continue to herald the great lie, and undermine the integrity of our elections.
It's not about finding real and valid results. We already know that this election was fraud free. This was found in all of the by-election reviews we conducted under the law, as well as in nine by-election complaints. Therefore, in this case, we had to go to court to fight for any kind of transparency, including the procedures published by the company to do so and allow the press and allow our experts to observe. If the court hadn't ordered these three things, there are a lot we would not know. However, we were able to share the concerns we have because the court ordered this level of transparency.
- And tell us we understand that this audit has even become a threat to your personal safety.
KATIE HOBBS: Yeah. Certainly not the first time this has happened in six months. Immediately after the election there were escalating threats against me and my family. Before the results were confirmed, I had armed protesters outside my home. And again this rhetoric is growing. We have received various threats, both in our office and directly on social media. This gives me another security detail.
- Well, it is good that you are safe because that is obviously unacceptable. Let's talk about the big picture. What are your concerns about any possible precedents that this exam might set?
KATIE HOBBS: Right. This is clearly unprecedented. We have never seen - in the United States of America, where we have free and fair elections as the cornerstone of our democracy, and in that system there are winners and losers. And the loser accepts the result and moves on. That is unprecedented. And it is unsustainable to believe that this will be the future of how we handle elections.
And so I certainly think that states across the country are likely to review their statutes on by-election reviews and how to prevent such things from happening in the future, as that again is not a type of valid review. This is an exercise that aims to continue to undermine public confidence and confidence and to justify extreme laws designed to suppress voters in various states. This is not good for our democracy.
- I can't help but believe that Republican Liz Cheney, who, as you know, has recently been ousted, said it best when she said that this is a poison in the bloodstream of our democracy that brings her to the point . Well, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, thank you for joining us. We value your time.
- Many Thanks.
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American politician in Arizona
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