Despite questions, Kelli Ward says Arizona GOP election results are final
PHOENIX – As Republicans continue to raise questions about the accuracy of last weekend’s state party election, Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward said Thursday night that the results are “final, final.”
“We just recently got our results, the final results of the election on Saturday from our independent election administrator,” Ward, who narrowly won a second term as chair, said in a YouTube video. “And because no one challenged the election on the day of the election … these are the final, final results.”
In the same video, she transitioned to criticizing the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for not going far enough with the audit it authorized Wednesday on the November general election.
Ward has lobbed numerous election fraud accusations since President Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona and filed several lawsuits that were tossed by judges for lack of evidence.
“We’re supposed to be the party of election integrity, and Kelli Ward runs an election that is the complete opposite,” GOP Committeeman Trey Terry told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday morning.
Terry, who has been publicizing potential problems with the party voting on social media, said nobody complained Saturday because the actual vote totals weren’t released until Thursday. He said that violated meeting rules.
“We didn’t actually get these results until more than five days later, and now she says that nobody can call for an audit or raise a complaint because we didn’t do so at the meeting,” he said.
Terry said hundreds of state committeemen are questioning the election, although he has “no direct accusation to make” about intentional fraud.
“I’ve received calls from diehard Kelli Ward supporters who have been telling me they think something is fishy,” he said.
Tucson business owner Sergio Arellano, who finished second to Ward in the chair, formally requested an audit on Monday after learning that one committee seat was incorrectly announced before being corrected after Saturday’s meeting. He said he’s heard about other concerns, too.
He told KTAR News on Friday that he remains “very hopeful” the audit will happen. He said he proposed doing the audit on Thursday but was told that wasn’t possible. When he said asked about alternative dates, he didn’t received a response.
“The irony is, we both ran on election integrity. … Now that we are simply requesting an audit of the turnout, it’s kind of odd that it’s not being adhered to.”
Arellano, a member of the Latinos for Trump advisory board, said he hadn’t seen the video in which Ward declared the election closed.
“If she’s saying that it’s final, it’s final, all you are doing is creating more distrust in the whole process when it shouldn’t even go this far,” he said.
Bill Beard, who unsuccessfully ran for an at-large committeeman spot Saturday and is the former chairman of the Pima County Republican Party, is calling a recount of all races.
He sent his request to the party and posted it to Facebook on Thursday morning, citing “a significant number of irregularities, inconsistencies and errors during the election of state officials.”
Terry posted images of the results to Twitter after he received them Thursday.
“We did not know how many people voted in the race for party chair until five days after it happened,” he said Friday.
The results showed Ward defeating Arellano by 42 votes in the runoff, as had been previously reported. They also showed that 61 fewer ballots were cast in the runoff than the first round, when Ward and Arellano advanced from a field of four candidates.
Ward has been an outspoken and at times controversial figure in the party, gaining national attention for her attacks on the integrity of the November election, delighting supporters of Donald Trump but turning off more moderate Republicans.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gabriel Gamiño contributed to this report.