Arizona certifies 2020 general election results

By: - November 30, 2020 1:07 pm

After signing official election documents, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, left, hands over the documents to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to sign during a ceremony to certify the election results for federal, statewide, and legislative offices and statewide ballot measures at the official canvass Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. Photo by Ross Franklin | The Associated Press/pool photo

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Gov. Doug Ducey, Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel have certified the results of the historic 2020 general election in Arizona, which saw a record-high number of votes cast.

The 2020 state election canvass certifies that former Vice President Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump, making him the first Democratic presidential nominee to win Arizona’s electoral votes since 1996. Biden won Arizona by 10,457 votes and is now the president-elect after winning 306 electoral votes nationwide.

“We do elections well in Arizona,” Ducey said before signing off on the results making them official, adding, “The system is strong and that is why I’ve bragged on it so much.”

While Hobbs and Ducey were certifying the results of the election, nine Arizona state lawmakers along with President Donald Trump’s campaign lawyer, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, held an unofficial hearing at a Phoenix hotel contesting the results. Many Trump supporters have alleged that Biden won through election fraud, but so far none have presented any evidence to back up those claims.

Hobbs took a moment during the signing ceremony to emphasize that the election was secure and mentioned the ways in which Arizona elections are audited and tested. Election equipment must undergo multiple logic and accuracy tests that have to be overseen by representatives of each political party. Party representatives are also present at ballot tabulating centers, Hobbs mentioned. 

“Every Arizona voter has my thanks and should know that they can stand proud that this election was conducted with transparency, accuracy and fairness in accordance with Arizona’s laws and election procedures despite numerous unfounded claims to the contrary,” Hobbs said. 

The 2020 general election in Arizona saw 3.42 million ballots cast, a 23% increase from 2018 and an 8% increase from the last presidential contest 2016. More than 88% of the votes were cast by early ballot, according to Hobbs. 

“Other states explored and experimented on election day. Arizona did not,” Ducey said, adding that Arizona said “no thank you” to choosing to not have in-person voting on election day amid calls for all-mail voting earlier in the year. 

By law, the secretary of state, governor and attorney general must sign off on the results of the candidate elections in Arizona, while the chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court joins the secretary of state and governor in certifying the results of ballot measure elections. In those elections, Arizona voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana and a tax increase on high-income earners to provide more funding for K-12 education.

Arizonans made the rare moves of choosing Democrats in the presidential race and in the race for U.S. Senate. Biden is only the second Democratic presidential candidate to win Arizona since Harry Truman in 1948. In the U.S. Senate race, Democrat Mark Kelly defeated Republican incumbent Martha McSally, giving Arizona two Democratic senators for the first time since 1952.

Despite Democratic wins in the presidential and Senate contests, Republicans were successful further down the ballot. They fended off an unprecedented outside spending campaign to maintain control of both legislative chambers, and ousted Democratic Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes.

Ducey said that he will sign official documentation Monday to make sure Kelly “can be sworn in as soon as possible.” Because his race was technically a special election to fill the final two years of the late John McCain’s term, Kelly is scheduled to be sworn in on Wednesday instead of in January with the other winners of this year’s Senate races.

“And with that let’s get to work,” Ducey said before signing off on the results. 

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Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joined the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.