Gov. Doug Ducey said the election is over and the people have spoken, but wouldn’t say whether he believes there was fraud in Arizona’s recently concluded election, a charge that numerous Republicans have made over the past week, though there has been no evidence to support those claims.
Some Republicans began making allegations of election fraud after Democrat Kyrsten Sinema overtook Republican Martha McSally for the lead in the U.S. Senate race on Nov. 8. Those accusations gained intensity after Democrats Katie Hobbs, Kathy Hoffman and Sandra Kennedy took the lead in their races for secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction and Corporation Commission, respectively.
Even President Donald Trump weighed in, taking an accusatory stance and tweeting, “Just out — in Arizona, SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH. Electoral corruption – Call for a new Election? We must protect our Democracy!”
Just out — in Arizona, SIGNATURES DON’T MATCH. Electoral corruption – Call for a new Election? We must protect our Democracy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
Republicans have also cast aspersions on the conduct of Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes, a Democrat, including for his decision to open five emergency voting centers in the days before the election without taking steps to limit their use to people who can’t vote on Election Day because of genuine emergencies.
The Arizona Republican Party on Thursday announced that it would launch an “independent audit” of Fontes’s conduct, including whether there was fraud in the election. Asked about the audit, Ducey told reporters on Friday, “The election’s over. The people have spoken.”
“I talked to Katie Hobbs just before I came over here… And I’m going to let the party do what they’re going to do. And I’m going to get focused on leading and governing,” he said after leaving a veterans’ business summit at the Phoenix Convention Center.
Ducey told reporters that they would have to ask others about the election fraud allegations they’re making. But asked whether he believes there was fraud, the governor didn’t directly address the question.
“I always want, and I’ve said many times before, that we can improve, we can reform, we want it to be easy to vote and we want it to be hard to cheat. But those are issues that can be handled in a legislative session,” he said.
When reporters asked if that meant he believed there was no fraud, Ducey remained silent until another question was asked.