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Joe Biden’s Arizona election victory takes step closer to certification

Ballots are counted by Maricopa County Elections Department staff ahead of Tuesdays election on October 31, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Early voting lasted from October 7th through the 30th in Arizona, which had a record number of early voters. (Photo by Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images)

PHOENIX (AP) — Elected leaders in the last Arizona county to certify its results from the Nov. 3 election signed off on their tally Monday, setting the stage for state leaders to formalize Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s historic win in the Grand Canyon State.

The five-member Mohave County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the county’s election results after balking last week because of lawsuits being pursued by backers of President Donald Trump in Phoenix. Judges in Maricopa County rejected those efforts, although appeals and additional legal efforts are possible.

Supervisor Ron Gould said he had no concerns about the election tally in the staunchly Republican northwestern Arizona county where 75% of voters backed Trump.

“I have grave concerns about the election in our own state and across the nation,” Gould said. “I think its really time that we take a hard look at ballot security and our voting process, because I think that nationwide people have lost faith in this process because of this election.

“But my vote here today is not to canvass the election for the state and it’s not to canvass the election for the United States, it’s to canvass the election for Mohave County,” Gould said. He and the other board members are Republicans.

Gould had joined other supervisors in delaying the official canvass last week, saying he wanted the lawsuits to play out.

Biden won Arizona by more than 10,000 votes on the strength of the vote in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and where nearly two-thirds of the state’s residents live. Maricopa County voters backed Biden by more than 45,000 votes.

The lawsuits targeted Maricopa County’s vote tally, alleging that some voters’ ballots weren’t counted, and there were questions about the accuracy of the count. The GOP-dominated Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved its canvass last Friday after the final lawsuit was dismissed.

Board members heard extensive reports from Maricopa County elections officials who said the vote count was correct and noted that all tests and hand-count reviews showed the electronic ballot count was 100% accurate. Those tests and reviews are done with help from Democrats and Republicans.

Elections challenges brought by the Trump campaign or his backers in key battleground states have largely been unsuccessful as Trump continues to allege voter fraud while refusing to concede.

There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. In fact, election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went well and international observers confirmed there were no serious irregularities.

Biden won Arizona after Democrats pinned their hopes on Arizona’s changing demographics and swing voters who split their tickets two years ago to elect a Republican governor and send a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.

The state plans to do its statewide election canvass on Nov. 30.

CORRECTION: The seventh paragraph of this story has been corrected to show that Biden won Arizona by more than 10,000 votes, not Trump.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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