PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Wednesday’s press conference was the first time we heard from Gov. Doug Ducey since the election.
Several reporters asked him about the debunked conspiracy theories in Arizona like “SharpieGate” and if he accepts the election results in Arizona. Ducey made it pretty clear, he will not accept the presidential race election results until after all of the court filings are resolved, and until every vote is counted.
Michael Catlett, the Deputy Solicitor General, said the Attorney General’s Office had received “hundreds of voter complaints regarding the use of Sharpie brand markers to fill out ballots on Election Day at voting centers in Maricopa County.”
On the one hand, the governor said, “We can trust our elections here in Arizona.” But minutes later, he said, “There are questions and those questions should be answered.”
“There are legal claims that are being challenged in court. Once those are adjudicated and the process plays out, I will accept the results of the election,” Ducey added.
Ducey would not acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden as the winner in Arizona, but rather is holding out after several lawsuits were filed by the Trump campaign and Arizona GOP, some of which have already been dropped.
“Those challenges will play out in the court and then I will respect the results of the election,” Ducey said.
But at the same time the governor spoke, party chairs were inside the Maricopa County Elections Center certifying the accuracy of the election equipment, which matched up 100% for the third audit. But Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward came outside to hold her own press conference, calling for a full hand audit of the election.
“Arizona and our nation remain in a public health emergency, and getting back to normal is not in the cards right now,” said Governor Ducey.
“Who has access to the USB or the drives that are used in the machines? Who programmed the machines? All of these are very important as to what’s going on in the electoral process. We need to know those answers,” Ward said.
Maricopa County Democratic Chair Steven Slugocki said Ward is putting on a show, and is frustrated anybody is still trying to prove any issues with the election process.
“Here I am at the Elections Department right now testing the machines, testing the equipment, they matched up exactly 100%, and then literally Kelli Ward goes from this room and then goes outside and trashes the process that we just certified as being accurate,” Slugocki said. “We have verified the vote, we have verified the machines. There was no fraud here, no discrepancies.”
Addressing “ongoing and escalating threats of violence directed at her family and her office,” Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said Wednesday that she “was prepared for these threats of violence and vitriol.”
The governor went on to say he will not tolerate any threats or violence directed toward any elected official as this process continues, after Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and her family received death threats recently.
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