PHOENIX — Despite a last-minute request by three Republican congressmen to recount all 2 million ballots, Maricopa County will move ahead with a planned certification of the Nov. 3 election results by Thursday or Friday, a county spokesman said Monday.
"The evidence overwhelmingly shows the election was accurate," spokesman Fields Moseley told 12 News.
The County Board of Supervisors will “have a formal response to the congressmen - just not today,” Moseley said.
The five-member County Board - four of them Republicans - has come under fire from Republicans on several fronts after the first general election it oversaw in almost 70 years.
The attacks reflect the GOP refusal, led by President Donald Trump, to accept Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.
The former vice president’s narrow win in Maricopa County was historic: the first by a Democratic nominee since Harry Truman in 1948.
Monday appeared to mark the start of the end game for the election.
Moseley spoke after a closed executive session during which the board discussed Republican challenges to the vote.
Arguments Set in GOP Lawsuit
Earlier in the day, a judge scheduled arguments for Wednesday after the first court hearing in an Arizona Republican Party lawsuit whose outcome could slow down the vote certification.
The party claims the board and Recorder Adrian Fontes broke state law by not doing a precinct-level hand count of the ballots to check accuracy.
Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office issued an initial opinion last week that the county followed the law in its hand count.
Three Arizona congressmen - Andy Biggs of Gilbert, David Schweikert of Fountain Hills and Paul Gosar of Flagstaff - emailed the board Friday requesting an audit of all ballots because of “issues raised about the integrity of some of our election systems within the state.”
The email doesn’t provide any evidence of specific “issues.”
The Republican barrage unleashed on the Republican-controlled board had a chummy tone.
Trump supporters at a Capitol rally Saturday were urged to “be polite” when they called or emailed board members.
Another leading Trump backer tweeted: “Contact Clint, Steve, Jack & Bill” - Board Chairman Clint Hickman, and Supervisors Steve Chucri, Jack Sellers and Bill Gates.
Timeline for Certifying Election
The rejection of the recount request clears one more hurdle to certify the election under the timeline set by law:
- Counties must be done by Nov. 23, with state certification a week later, on Nov. 30.
- Gov. Doug Ducey and other governors send Congress a “certificate of ascertainment” with the state’s vote totals and the names of the 11 Biden electors.
- Dec. 8 is the last day to settle all election disputes.
- The governors’ certificate must reach Congress before the Electoral College convenes on Dec. 14. On that day, the electors will formally cast their votes for president and vice president in their home states.
- On Jan. 6, Congress counts and certifies the electoral votes.
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