Gov. Hobbs’ Task Force Admits 2022 Election Under Her Rule Disenfranchised Voters

Gov. Hobbs’ Task Force Admits 2022 Election Under Her Rule Disenfranchised Voters

By Corinne Murdock |

Gov. Katie Hobbs’ Election Task Force (ETF) admitted that the 2022 election under her administration as secretary of state disenfranchised certain voters.

In the ETF’s final report, issued last week, the group recommended 16 improvements, two of which concerned hotly contested issues on eligible voters’ registration status: provisional ballot forms and cross-county voter registration. The 14 other issues spanned election administration, voter registration, early voting, election day and after procedures, and election equipment and security. 

These provisional ballot and cross-county voter registration standards and procedures caused some voters to be disenfranchised last year. 

Concerning provisional ballot forms, the ETF noted that no law exists to direct counties to have provisional ballots double as voter registration forms for eligible voters who weren’t registered prior to casting their vote. However, it is standard practice adopted by many counties, as noted by the ETF. The ETF also said that inconsistencies in provisional ballot forms across counties resulted in disparate treatment of voters. 

“[T]here is no statutory requirement for counties to adopt this practice, which can result in inconsistent treatment of similarly-situated voters in different counties, and a potential decrease in the practice with turnover in County Recorder and elections offices,” said the ETF.

Maricopa County, which houses the state’s largest voting population, doesn’t have its provisional ballots double as voter registration forms. That meant that unregistered, eligible voters who voted in the primary through a provisional ballot remained unregistered, and therefore cast provisional ballots in the general election that were ultimately rejected. The county offered the following explanation to AZ Free News:

“Maricopa County does not use provisional ballots as registration forms. We do have voter registration forms available at vote centers. An individual must be registered to vote at least 29 before an election to be eligible to vote in that election. So, if someone registers to vote via a registration form at a vote center and then votes a provisional ballot, that provisional ballot will not be valid as they still are not within that 29-day time frame.”

Yet Pima County, which handles the state’s second-largest voting population, does use provisional ballot forms as voter registration.

Concerning cross-county voter registration, the ETF recommended changing state law to allow voters who moved counties to change their address up to and on Election Day, which voters may already do if they change addresses within the same county. Current law requires voters who move to another county to update their address at least 29 days prior to Election Day. The ETF noted that some voters were unaware of address changes to their voter registration

“Some voters are not aware of having made changes to their voter registration through the MVD, or may forget having made a separate request,” stated the ETF.

As alluded to by the ETF, hundreds of voters came forward after the 2022 election to allege that very disenfranchisement happened to them. In his arguments for a new trial in May, failed attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh’s legal team introduced sworn affidavits of hundreds of voters claiming disenfranchisement due to bureaucratic failures. 

One allegedly disenfranchised Maricopa County voter given as an example, Marlena, attempted to vote on Election Day but was denied. Marlena had reportedly experienced issues with the county’s registration system for months: earlier that year, she discovered that her registration had changed without her knowledge and consent. Evidence indicated that Marlena attempted to correct her voter registration before the deadline and subsequently received confirmation from Maricopa County confirming her registration. Yet, she was denied her vote on Election Day.

During a Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meeting in September, county officials noted that individuals have mistakenly checked the wrong box and unknowingly changed their voter registration, when re-registering a vehicle in another county.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Lake Hopes Third Time Is the Charm With AZ Supreme Court

Lake Hopes Third Time Is the Charm With AZ Supreme Court

By Terri Jo Neff |

Kari Lake has announced she will once again seek review from the Arizona Supreme Court of her claims that she, and not Katie Hobbs, is the state’s legitimate governor.

It will be Lake’s third such effort since the Nov. 8, 2022 General Election, and comes after the Arizona Court of Appeals issued a Feb. 16 opinion upholding a Maricopa County judge’s dismissal back in December of Lake’s election challenge.   

Lake has claimed in various legal pleadings that Hobbs’ victory by more than 17,000 votes was improperly influenced by myriad Election Day problems in Maricopa County.  As a result, Lake has been seeking to have the county’s election certification voided in the governor’s race.

Her legal filings have argued that a judge should declare Lake as the rightful winner based on various evidence presented to the court. Or in the alternative, she wants an order for a new election in Maricopa County in the governor race. 

Last week’s unanimous appellate opinion noted Lakes’ request for relief “fails because the evidence presented to the superior court ultimately supports the court’s conclusion that voters were able to cast their ballots, that votes were counted correctly, and that no other basis justifies setting aside the election results.”

The opinion authored by Chief Judge Kent E. Cattani and joined by Presiding Judge Maria Elena Cruz and Judge Pro Tempore Peter B. Swann came on the heels of two failed earlier attempts by Lake’s legal team to bypass the appellate court and have the Arizona Supreme Court hear the case.

Lake now has until March 20 to file a Petition for Review with the state’s high court. There is no guarantee, however, that the Justices will accept the case.

Terri Jo Neff is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or send her news tips here.

Kari Lake Appeals Election Lawsuit Loss, Order to Pay $33K to Katie Hobbs

Kari Lake Appeals Election Lawsuit Loss, Order to Pay $33K to Katie Hobbs

By Corinne Murdock |

On Wednesday, GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake filed an appeal of her election lawsuit’s dismissal and the order to pay $33,000 to opponent Katie Hobbs for legal fees.

Lake’s lawsuit named Hobbs both personally and as secretary of state; Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer; the entire Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (BOS); and Maricopa County Elections Director Scott Jarrett.

In an interview with “War Room” founder and host Steve Bannon this past week, Lake claimed that the election was stolen from her by shadow figures bent on keeping cartels active, the border open, and inflation high. Lake said that Hobbs will merely be a “puppet” for these forces.

“The voters went to the ballot box in November because they’re fed up. The only way to stop me from stopping the cartels was to steal an election,” said Lake. “This state is going to go to hell in a handbasket if Katie Hobbs is allowed to take control.”

Lake further claimed that Hobbs was in on this alleged collusion

“Hobbs has absolutely no respect for the law. I can’t even believe she didn’t recuse herself from this botched election.” said Lake. “She didn’t even campaign, she didn’t debate, she hid from people, hid in her basement, had no policy, because she knew that she could rig the election and walk into office.”

Lake appealed to the Division 1 Court of Appeals. Lake has promised previously that she would take her case up to the Supreme Court if necessary.


The Maricopa County Superior Court dismissed Lake’s lawsuit on Christmas Eve. Maricopa County defendants and Hobbs filed for $696,000 collectively in sanctions on Monday. However, the court denied most of the sanctions on Tuesday, only awarding Hobbs’ team $33,000 in fees. Judge Peter Thompson clarified that Lake’s claims of election misconduct or fraud weren’t groundless or presented in bad faith, contrary to what Maricopa County argued in its sanctions request. 

In response to the superior court’s dismissal, both Hobbs and BOS Chair Bill Gates issued press releases celebrating the win.

Hobbs campaign manager, Nicole Demont, issued a statement on her behalf. DeMont said that the judge affirmed what Arizona voters chose last month, not “the conspiracy-riddled, dark corners of the Internet” that voted for Lake. Hobbs earned over 1.28 million votes to Lake’s 1.27 million votes: a difference of 17,100 votes.

Gates said the ruling signaled a win for democracy. He stated that Lake’s lawsuit was a “made-for-TV tirade” absent any facts or evidence. 

“Arizona courts have made it clear that frivolous political theater meant to undermine elections will not be tolerated,” wrote Gates.

Lake doesn’t appear to have the backing of some of the GOP’s national leadership. Embattled RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel told Newsmax that Lake lost because she ran a poor campaign, and that Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward also facilitated the loss.

“You had one candidate saying, ‘If you’re a McCain voter, get the hell out of my rallies.’ And then the McCain voters said, ‘Yeah, I’m not going to vote for you,” said McDaniel. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Attorney General Brnovich Signals Disapproval of Election

Attorney General Brnovich Signals Disapproval of Election

By Corinne Murdock |

Attorney General Mark Brnovich signaled his disapproval of the election during the statewide canvass certifying the results on Monday.

Brnovich indicated his displeasure with the events of the last month after Secretary of State and governor-elect Katie Hobbs lectured Arizonans that they must combat election misinformation, conspiracies, and critics. The attorney general paraphrased a quote seemingly directed at Hobbs.

“I should note: I didn’t know we were giving speeches today, but the governor and I pursuant to statute are merely witnesses to the certification,” stated Brnovich. “I’m reminded of what John F. Kennedy said: ‘Those who ride the tiger to seek power often end up inside.’”

The quote Brnovich paraphrased came from Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address. The former president meant it as a metaphor: people who support communist countries in the hopes of benefitting will only be overtaken by them in the end.

“To those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny,” stated Kennedy. “We shall not always expect to find them supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom—and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.”

Following the certification, Brnovich released a statement clarifying that his presence at the certification wasn’t a signal of support for the election administration. Brnovich shared that he would continue to scrutinize the election if necessary through the end of his term.

“As we gather today to solidify the 2022 midterm election results, many Arizonans of all political persuasions continue to have doubts about our election processes,” said Brnovich. “As attorney general, I have made it one of my office’s highest priorities to defend our election laws and advocate for changes when necessary. I will continue to do so throughout the end of my term.”

Brnovich’s spokeswoman, Katie Conner, stated that people could draw their own conclusions as to what Brnovich meant when paraphrasing Kennedy.

Watch the certification on the secretary of state’s website or below:

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

Conservative Parents Find Hope In Superintendent and School Board Races

Conservative Parents Find Hope In Superintendent and School Board Races

By Loretta Hunnicutt |

From the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI) to local school board positions, several conservatives are currently leading or have already won key races on the education front in the 2022 General Election.

As of press time, Republican candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction (SPI), Tom Horne, had increased his lead in his challenge of incumbent Kathy Hoffman. Horne previously served as SPI from 2003 to 2011, prior to successfully running for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. If the results hold up, Horne says his focus as SPI will be on improving student performance and eradicating Critical Race Theory-based curriculum from Arizona’s public schools.

In the Peoria Unified School District race, Heather Rooks won a hard-fought and challenging race. Her efforts to expose the Social Emotional Learning-based policies and practices in the district eventually led her to request an injunction against an activist parent. As reported by the Arizona Daily Independent, Rooks, a mother of four school-aged children, obtained the injunction based on threats from Democrat activist, Josh Gray.

Two other conservative candidates, Amy Carney and Carine Werner, secured seats on the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) Governing Board. Their victories serve as a powerful repudiation of out-going Governing Board Member Jann-Michael Greenburg. Greenburg was sued by parents who accused him of trying to silence them after they exposed his secret Google Drive dossier on them. As AZ Free News reported in April, that dossier included a trove of political opposition research on parents, who opposed the district’s adoption of Social Emotional Learning and Critical Race Theory.

In the race for Flowing Wells School District Governing Board—an area known for being blue—conservative Brianna Hernandez Hamilton is currently holding on to one of two open spots. A mother of three very young children, Hernandez Hamilton ran with the slogan: “Parents + Teachers = Quality Education.”

Kurt Rohrs, a long-time education activist and frequent contributor to AZ Free News, won a spot on the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board. Rohrs, like Horne, focused on improving student performance and eliminating the divisive Critical Race Theory from the district’s curriculum. Many see Rohrs’ presence on the board as an opportunity to restore calm to the district which had become the center of controversy thanks to out-going board member Lindsay Love.

In the race for Dysart Unified School District Governing Board, conservative Dawn Densmore was retained by voters. As current president of the board, Densmore successfully led the fight to end the district’s relationship with the Arizona School Board Association (ASBA). Jennifer Drake also won a seat on the board.

Sandra Christensen is set to win a seat on the Paradise Valley Unified School District Governing Board. Libby Settle and Madicyn Reid are in the lead for spots in Fountain Hills. Paul Carver should take a win in Deer Valley. Jackie Ulmer appears to have been successful in Cave Creek as well as Rachel Walden in Mesa and Chad Thompson in Gilbert. In the Higley Unified School District, conservative Anna Van Hoek also won a seat on the board.

In a tweet from earlier this week, former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos summed up what many parents have been feeling over the past few years – left out. In response to the National Education Association’s claim that teachers “know better than anyone” what students need in the classroom, DeVos responded, “You misspelled parents.”