Joe Biden officially wins 11 electoral votes as Arizona certifies election results in the state. According to the official count, the Democrat beat incumbent President Donald Trump by 10,457 votes. On Monday, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs certified the election results. “Despite unfounded claims to the contrary,” she said the state’s election process was one of the most secure in recent history. Governor Doug Ducey, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, and Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel witnessed the certification. All three are Republicans, while Hobbs is a Democrat.
Hobbs reported that nearly 80% of registered voters showed up to vote. The elections generated 3.4 million ballots, with 88% cast earlier. Hobbs proudly said that “Arizonans showed up for our democracy.” And they did so “despite the unprecedented challenges” provided by a coronavirus.
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Senator Mark Kelly
Along with Biden, Democrat Mark Kelly won the elections for Senator. The former NASA astronaut defeated incumbent Republican Senator Martha McSally in a special election. McSally got appointed to the seat when Senator Jon Kyl resigned in December 2018. Kyl himself was also appointed by Ducey, taking over as Senator when Senator John McCain died. McSally held the post until this year’s special elections. Whoever won would serve McCain’s remaining two years of his term.
During the campaign, McSally ran into problems during her campaign. For one, she opposes policies from her party mate President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Kelly is the husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords. Rep Giffords is famous for surviving a gunshot in the head in 2011 during an event. The couple founded the Giffords Foundation, an advocate for gun control laws.
New Swing State
Similarly, Ducey praised Arizona’s election system. He committed to sign the certification and have it delivered to the president of the US Senate. This is so that Kelly “can be sworn in as swiftly as possible.” Once this happens, Arizona joins the Democrat senate count at 48. Republicans have the advantage at 50, with two seats (Georgia) remaining.
Kelly joins Kyrsten Sinema, who won the elections for the other seat in 2018. Arizona’s confirmation officially puts both Senate seats to the Democrats. Also, it strengthened Arizona’s label as a swing state after years of Republican control.
Trump’s Longshot Attempt
Usually, election certifications are formalities. This year, certification encountered attempts to block or delay the procedures. Trump’s campaign team filed suits in various states. They either sought a recount or asked to invalidate allegedly illegal ballots. Given the narrowness of the vote count, Arizona is an obvious target. Before the certification, local Republican party officials met with Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis. They discussed allegations of voter fraud and how to challenge the results. Meanwhile, the certification went through as scheduled.
Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward filed documents last week in state superior court. She said she plans to challenge Arizona’s election results after they get certified. Under state law, Ward has five says to submit any legal challenges. Ward’s attorney asked to inspect up to 2% of voters’ signatures on mail-in ballot envelopes in Maricopa County. They also want to check for ballots that election workers copied so the machine can read them.
December 14 Electoral College
Arizona joins the list of states who completed certifying votes, despite a spate of legal challenges posed by Trump’s lawyers. Later that day, Wisconsin formally certified Biden’s wins and awarded him the state’s ten electoral votes. Earlier last week, both Nevada and Pennsylvania certified their results. Both states also received lawsuits filed on behalf of the Trump campaign.
All individual states need to finish certification by December 8. Afterward, the Electoral College will meet on December 14 to formally vote. At this point, Trump has yet to concede the results. His administration, however, approved the start of the official transition process. Also, the Trump White House gave Biden access to security briefings.
Watch as NBC Nightly News reports on Arizona certifying Biden as election winner while Trump’s legal options fade:
Trump’s hopes of challenging results grow dimmer as states finish their certifications. Do you still want him to continue mounting legal challenges, or do you think it’s time to move forward? Let us know what you think by leaving your comments below.