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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke December 9, 2022

Hobbs certifying Arizona’s election was typical, not ‘unconstitutional’

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  • It’s typical for election officials to maintain their positions while running for higher office. In Arizona, secretaries of state, governors and attorneys general have certified their own re-elections. 

On Dec. 5, Arizona’s governor, attorney general, secretary of state and chief justice certified the state’s election results. 

It drew fresh ire from some Republicans who didn’t think Secretary of State — and now Arizona Gov.-elect — Katie Hobbs should be involved in the certification process. 

"Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs, signing the certification of Katie Hobbs, for Arizona governor," one Instagram post said. "Nothing unconstitutional goings on here." 

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Kari Lake, Hobbs’ Republican challenger, previously called on Hobbs to recuse herself from overseeing the election since she was on the ballot. Hobbs didn’t recuse herself; she said state law didn’t require her to do so. 

What the law does say: Hobbs’ role as secretary is to certify the election results in the presence of the governor and attorney general. If statewide ballot measures are on the ballot, the chief justice must also be present for the election certification. 

The Arizona Republic reported before Election Day that in the state’s past elections, "secretaries of state, attorneys general and governors have approved their own reelections, or losses, for decades." For Hobbs to step aside would be atypical

In recent Arizona history, there isn’t a direct comparison to a secretary of state seeking election to the governor’s office. But something similar happened in Georgia in 2018, when Democrats called on then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp to recuse himself because he was running for governor. Kemp, a Republican, declined. 

The Associated Press, reporting on Arizona’s election certification, noted that though Republicans "have complained for weeks" about Hobbs’ role in certifying her own victory, "it is typical for election officials to maintain their position while running for higher office." 

We rate claims that Hobbs certifying the election was unconstitutional False.

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Hobbs certifying Arizona’s election was typical, not ‘unconstitutional’

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