On Tuesday morning, the Arizona House Appropriations Committee stripped Secretary of State Katie Hobbs of her ability to defend election lawsuits. It gave the power exclusively to the Attorney General.
Later in the day, the state’s Senate Appropriations Committee passed the same changes. Now, these proposed changes are part of the full budget proposal that will be voted on later this week.
“We are meddling with the constitution,” State Representative Randy Friese, (D) Tucson, said.
Friese and other Democrats see the move as a response to Secretary of State Hobbs’ use of outside counsel to defend Arizona voters from lawsuits filed by the State Republican Party and others challenging Arizona’s election results.
Hobbs also did not support a decision by the Attorney General to pursue a ballot harvesting case in federal court. Earlier this year Attorney General Mark Brnovich argued against the practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Court is expected to decide the case this summer.
The provision restricting the Secretary of State ends on January 2, 2023, when a new Secretary of State is in office.
The Appropriations Committee also took away Hobbs’ oversight of the Capitol Museum.
On June 28, 2019, Hobbs flew a gay pride flag from the balcony of the Capitol. It was a move that infuriated both the Speaker of the House and the Senate President.
On Thursday, Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs sent a letter claiming the election machines that were audited by the Cyber Ninja team these past few weeks should never be used again.
“This equipment was accessed by amateur, uncertified ‘auditors’ with zero transparency. I support election integrity, and therefore can’t support the continued usage of these machines,” she wrote.
Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward responded to what she sees as the obstruction in the Maricopa County, Arizona election audit and now she is threatening action.
“There have to be consequences,” she said during an appearance on One America News. “There could be arrests of people who are refusing to comply.”
This is an excerpt from ABC 15.
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