Florida Senator Marco Rubio Compares Arizona Elections to Third-World Country

Florida Senator Marco Rubio Compares Arizona Elections to Third-World Country

By Corinne Murdock |

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said Arizona’s elections reminded him of a third-world country, calling the state “an embarrassment.” 

Rubio told Fox News on Wednesday that the chaos of the state’s election processes confused him.

“I don’t have anything against the state of Arizona, great people, but it seems like you guys are reporting on some third-world country that’s having one of these elections where every day they’re finding new boxes here, new votes there,” stated Rubio. 

Rubio won re-election on Tuesday, leading with greater margins in historically blue, Hispanic counties. His state’s election law enables processing of early votes ahead of Election Day, enabling them to count the last of 7.5 million votes in a matter of hours.

Rubio’s not alone. Voters may feel frustrated by the Secretary of State’s trackers for general election results and ballot progress estimates. For some counties, the percentage of ballots counted have fluctuated, increasing then dropping as more ballots are reported. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, most of the counties didn’t report estimates for the total ballots counted, let alone the types of ballots left to process. As of press time, seven counties haven’t reported the total percentage of ballots counted. Only one county, Greenlee, has 100 percent of ballots processed: accounting for about 2,500 votes. 

The other counties who issued percentages of ballots counted range in completion from 70 to 90 percent.

Perhaps the slowest to process their ballots may turn out to be Pima County. Their recorder informed reporters on Wednesday that it may take another week before they finish counting. 

As of press time, the following Republican candidates are behind: Blake Masters for U.S. Senate, Kari Lake for Governor, Mark Finchem for Secretary of State, Abraham Hamadeh for Attorney General, David Schweikert for U.S. House District 1, Kelly Cooper for U.S. House District 4, and Robert Scantlebury for State Senate District 9. Most of these races remain close and difficult to call due to outstanding ballots.

Other Republicans currently leading their races include: Eli Crane for U.S. House District 2, David Farnsworth for State Senate District 10, Anthony Kern for State Senate District 27, Janae Shamp for State Senate District 29, and Wendy Rogers for State Senate District 7.

Both parties have expressed confidence that the outstanding ballots will end up in their favor.

Ahead of Thursday’s update to the election results, Secretary of State and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs issued another update in a series of pleas with voters to have patience for the ballot processing.

Lake took the opposite stance. She insisted that counties were “dragging their feet” on ballot processing. Lake insisted that Election Day ballots would give her the lead on Hobbs.

Like Lake, Masters expressed confidence that the in-person ballots and those mail-in ballots dropped off on Election Day would weigh in his favor.

Kelly expressed confidence that he would ultimately prevail, though he didn’t offer thoughts on the breakdown of the remaining ballots.

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

Secretary of State Hobbs Suggests Expansive Election “Reforms”

Secretary of State Hobbs Suggests Expansive Election “Reforms”

By Corinne Murdock |

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs introduced four pages of election reform suggestions for the legislature on Wednesday. Suggestions included same-day voter registration using provisional ballots, early voting expansion to include the weekend before Election Day, automatic felon voting rights restoration, removal of state ID requirements for online voter registration, a ban on foreign contributions to ballot initiatives, expansion of allowed campaign fund expenditures for “things like child care,” and requiring political action committees (PACs) to disclose any spending in the ten days before registering as a PAC and seventeen days before an election.

Additionally, Hobbs proposed new types of post-election audits, like risk-limiting audits, as well as mandating and streamlining hand count audits. She also suggested adopting Colorado’s practice of using a monthly National Change of Address (NCOA) report to update voter mailing addresses automatically and notify the voter of the change at their old and new address for corrections, as well as allowing Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) data as a first notice of a person moving.

Hobbs noted that her list of proposals wasn’t exhaustive.

In the letter to Senator Karen Fann (R-Prescott), Hobbs cited the need for these election reforms based on lack of closure with the 2020 election.

“It’s no secret that election-related legislation will be a top priority during the upcoming legislative session, and as you know, far too many people seem to believe that the 2020 election has not yet ended,” wrote Hobbs. “Indeed, it’s December 15, 2021, and media reports indicate that Cyber Ninjas have still not completed their ‘audit.’ It’s my fear that our lawmakers will waste time and resources this session trying to pass legislation that accomplishes little more than making it more difficult for election officials to administer elections and more difficult to vote.”

Hobbs characterized her suggested reforms, some of which related to policies in other states that sowed controversy and mistrust in the 2020 election, as the “real solutions.”

“These reforms will make our elections more secure, inclusive, and transparent. Let’s focus on real solutions instead of chasing conspiracies and the favor of those who spread them,” tweeted Hobbs.

In the September draft of the Election Procedures Manual, Hobbs proposed to require counties with precinct-based polling places to count votes by out-of-precinct voters. 

Hobbs also urged the Senate last month to establish more protections for federal workers, in the wake of harassment and threats to her and other election officials concerning the 2020 election. 

In a CNN opinion piece last month, Hobbs insisted that “battling misinformation” was the only means of protecting elections. However, the secretary of state has insisted that she has limited ability to address speculation and “conspiracies” surrounding the 2020 election. Hobbs claimed to Axios that the state legislature doesn’t want her office to use funds for educating the public on election issues and laws.

“[They have] made it clear that they don’t want our office to use funds for public education,” claimed Hobbs.

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