POLITICS

GOP Gov Ducey welcomes Dem Hobbs even though he doesn’t have a lake concession – KGET 17

PHOENIX (AP) – Outgoing Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Wednesday that his Republican administration will ensure an orderly transition to Democrat Katie Hobbs, his first public statement since her victory.

Ducey met with Hobbs in his office more than a week after her victory became clear and days after the final ballots were counted. But defeated Republican Kari Lake has not conceded and since the election has worked to draw attention to voters who say they have been affected by a problem with ballot printers at some polling places in Maricopa County.

“We have all been patiently waiting for the democratic process to play out,” Ducey said in a statement. “The people of Arizona have spoken, their votes have been counted, and we respect their decision.”

Ducey called to congratulate Hobbs a day after the Associated Press and other news outlets called the race, but he did not make a public statement about the outcome until Wednesday.

Ducey was co-chairman of the Republican Governors Association, which spent more than $10 million on television ads attacking Hobbs, but he was not an enthusiastic supporter of Lake. He endorsed her rival in the GOP primary and, while he endorsed the entire GOP ticket for the general election, he did not campaign with Lake.

Hobbs, currently secretary of state, has formed a transition team that is vetting potential hires as she prepares to become the first Democrat to hold the nation’s highest office since Janet Napolitano stepped down as US Homeland Security Secretary after the 2008 election.

The Ducey-Hobbs meeting comes a day after the Republican National Committee and GOP nominee for Arizona Attorney General Abraham Hamadeh filed an election challenge in their race, which is set for an automatic recount, with Hamadeh trailing by 510 votes.

The complaint, filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, alleges that various issues affected the outcome of the extremely tight race. It is said that some ballots were counted that should not have been, while others were rejected when they should have been counted. Election workers are said to have made mistakes in duplicating ballots that could not be read by electronic tabulators and in determining voter intent when ballots were ambiguous.

The lawsuit also claims some voters in Maricopa County were denied the chance to vote because of a widely publicized problem at some polling centers where printers produced ballots with markings that were too bright for on-site tabulators to read. Some voters who had problems left without voting and didn’t check out at the polls, so they couldn’t vote elsewhere because the county’s computer system shows them as voting.

The lawsuit alleges that Hamadeh and the RNC do not “allege any fraud, manipulation or other intentional wrongdoing that would call into question the outcome of the November 8, 2022 general election.”

“Arizona voters demand answers and deserve transparency about the gross incompetence and mismanagement of the general election by certain election officials,” Hamadeh said in a statement.

Democrat Chris Mayes will ask a judge to dismiss Hamadeh’s lawsuit, Mayes’ attorney Dan Barr said.

“Aba Hamadeh’s complaint is devoid of real facts,” Barr said in a statement. “It is not credibly claimed that errors in the administration of the election actually occurred, and that they would have affected the result.”

Election Day votes went overwhelmingly Republican, but Democrats dominated mail-in voting.

Maricopa County officials acknowledged that some voters were inconvenienced by the printer problems, which were resolved by early afternoon on Election Day. Oversight Board Chairman Bill Gates said the problems were exacerbated by prominent Republicans who led their supporters to fear that the ballots would not be counted.

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