Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, certified the election results Monday morning, saying the elections process was the most secure in recent history, “despite unfounded claims to the contrary.” The state’s Gov. Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich, along with Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, witnessed the certification, as required by state law. These three officials are Republicans.
Ducey, who echoed Hobbs’ comments and praised the integrity of Arizona’s election system, also said he would sign official documentation on Monday and have it hand-delivered to the president of the US Senate, so that Kelly “can be sworn in as swiftly as possible.”
Kelly, who defeated Republican Sen. Martha McSally in a special election, will be sworn in at noon on Wednesday, according to a senior Democratic aide. That will reduce the current Republican advantage in the Senate to 52-48.
Shortly before the certification, Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward took part in a hearing in state court in connection with a planned challenge to the election results that her attorney said he planned to file later in the day. Ward filed documents last week in state superior court indicating she would challenge Arizona’s election results as soon as they were certified. Under state law, any legal challenges must be filed within five days of certification.
Ward’s attorney was asking to inspect up to 2% of voters’ signatures on mail-in ballot envelopes in Maricopa County, and ballots that were “duplicated,” or copied by election workers, because they couldn’t be read by the machines. Four prior lawsuits involving the Arizona GOP, the Trump campaign or other parties challenging election processes in Arizona failed to derail the certification process.
Before the formal certification on Monday, Hobbs noted that more than 3.4 million ballots were cast in Arizona for the general election, with a turnout of nearly 80%. More than 88% of the ballots were cast early, she said.
“Despite the unprecedented challenges” posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Hobbs said, “Arizonans showed up for our democracy.”
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Devan Cole contributed to this report.