And in Arizona’s Pima County, which includes Tucson, two GOP members of the county board of supervisors voted against certifying the election results, citing possible “statewide irregularities,” though the results were certified on a 3-2 party-line vote.
These efforts by local Republican officials appear to be uncoordinated, but they fall in line with the Trump campaign’s strategy of sowing doubt about the result and seeking to delay certification of the election through multiple lawsuits that have been repeatedly dismissed by judges.
None of them appear to have any chance of changing the election result, with President-elect Joe Biden leading by tens of thousands of votes in all of the states Trump’s campaign is contesting or where there’s a recount. But the protracted effort against the election outcome is feeding into Trump’s false narrative that there is reasonable doubt about the results, while Trump refuses to concede an election he lost and his administration continues to block Biden from beginning its formal transition.
When pressed in court whether he was alleging specific instances of fraud, Giuliani said he was not.
States will soon certify election results
In Georgia, the state plans to announce the results of a statewide election audit on Thursday, said Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting systems implementation manager. Sterling said that the state has finished auditing virtually all ballots from the presidential race. About 5 million Georgians voted, and Biden won by about 13,000 votes.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who has clashed with Trump and his allies, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday that the state has “not seen widespread voter fraud.”
In recounts since 2000, the average change in the number of votes has been a few hundred, according to research from the nonpartisan group FairVote.
Georgia is expected to certify its election results on Friday, and other key states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada, are slated to certify next week, meaning if there’s no successful legal challenge to the certification, the states will confirm that Biden won the election.
Spreading conspiracy theories in Michigan
A few hours later, the board voted unanimously to certify the results, while Trump cheered on the effort.
William Hartmann, one of the two Republicans on the county Board of Canvassers, has recently shared conspiracy theories about the election and Covid-19 on Facebook, CNN has found. He also shared racist posts about President Barack Obama during his presidency.
On November 7, the day major news outlets projected Biden as President-elect, Hartmann posted on Facebook, “I’m reading the news on how great things are now that Biden and Harris are in as declared by the MSM. What will happen if it doesn’t happen once the official results are tallied? I wouldn’t sell the farm yet.”
Later that day, he wrote, “I’m not really one to promote conspiracy theories” but told his Facebook friends to look up “hammer and scorecard” a conspiracy theory that has been widely debunked but did go viral after the election.
The Michigan Board of State Canvassers says it will meet next week to certify the elections, and state officials and outside experts believe the board will certify the results without incident. But this mundane procedural step has taken on new relevance in the wake of Tuesday’s drama in Wayne County.
Shinkle’s wife, Mary Shinkle, accused election officials in Wayne County of preventing her from observing the ballot count and of being “extremely rude and aggressive” toward Republican poll challengers. The case is still pending in federal court, but a state judge overseeing a similar lawsuit from the Trump campaign said other people’s claims of massive fraud in Wayne County were “not credible.”
Biden is ahead by more than 140,000 votes in the state.
Threats in Arizona
Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs issued a statement Wednesday about post-election death threats that were sent to her family and her staff. “I was prepared for these threats of violence and vitriol,” Hobbs said in a statement, adding that the “intimidation tactics will not prevent me from performing the duties I swore an oath to do.”
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey called the threats against Hobbs “completely unacceptable,” saying he denounced “any threats of violence.” Ducey, however, repeatedly declined to address the unsubstantiated claims of election fraud made by the Trump campaign.
“Whatever rights or remedies are available to the campaigns that they want to pursue, it’s their right to do that,” he said. Asked whether he knows of any widespread evidence of fraud or irregularities in Arizona’s electoral results, Ducey said, “I’ve not seen that. I’ve heard about it — I’ve not seen it.”
CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, Annie Grayer, Bob Ortega, Marshall Cohen, Jessica Schneider, Katelyn Polantz and Casey Tolan contributed to this report.