Hobbs Defies Tradition, Attacks Election Critics At Certification Event

Hobbs Defies Tradition, Attacks Election Critics At Certification Event

By Corinne Murdock |

During Monday’s statewide canvass of the 2022 general election, governor-elect Katie Hobbs enjoined Arizonans to counter the speech of election critics.

After reading through a summary of election data, Hobbs urged Arizonans to monitor their peers’ election-related speech. She indicated that only election officials and designated experts convey truth concerning elections. Hobbs alluded to Cochise County’s certification delay, indicating that they were proliferating falsehoods, undermining democracy, and threatening to disenfranchise voters. 

“As we’ve learned these past few years, protecting our democracy requires everyone’s participation to help discern truth from fiction and listen to experts seeking to uphold our laws and our republic rather than promote conspiracies,” stated Hobbs. “You can help combat and prevent these threats by getting involved. Learn from your trusted election officials and share accurate election information with your family and friends. Push back on and refuse to accept false narratives.”

Hobbs closed her speech by forewarning that the 2024 election would be equally rife with election denialism, if not worse.

“Democracy prevailed but it’s not out of the woods. 2024 will bring a host of challenges from the election denial community that we must prepare for,” stated Hobbs. “But for now, Arizonans can stand proud knowing that this election was conducted with transparency, accuracy, and fairness in accordance with Arizona’s election laws and procedures.”

When it comes to monitoring election-related speech, Hobbs has practiced what she preached.

Court filings revealed that the secretary of state’s office effectively controlled social media speech through a mediator nonprofit: the Center for Internet Security (CIS), run by a former Obama administration official. CIS manages election-related issues through their Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC), which runs a communications hub between elections officials, the federal government, and social media platforms.

The secretary of state’s office, Runbeck Elections Services, and election leadership in all 15 Arizona counties are members of EI-ISAC. 

Specifically: the Apache County’s Elections, Recorder, and City of Apache Junction Clerk; Cochise County’s Recorder and Elections Department; Coconino County Recorder; Gila County Elections; Graham County Elections and Recorder; Greenlee County Elections; La Paz County Elections; Maricopa County Recorder; Mohave County Recorder; Navajo County Elections; Pima County Election Department and Recorder; Pinal County Elections and Recorder; Santa Cruz County Elections; Yavapai County Elections and Recorder; and Yuma County Elections.

Nationwide, membership totals around 3,000 state and local election officials. 

CIS also runs the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), which is backed by and the cybersecurity needs go-to for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). MS-ISAC, created in response to post-9/11 national security restructuring, got an $11 million cut from Congress’ $1.5 trillion omnibus spending bill earlier this year.

The following are MS-ISAC partners in Arizona: 

  • State Entities: the state of Arizona, Secretary of State, Counter Terrorism Information Center, Judicial Branch, Central Arizona Project, Salt River Project
  • Cities: Apache Junction, Avondale, Buckeye, Bullhead City, Casa Grande, Chandler, Cottonwood, Flagstaff, Kingman, Glendale, Goodyear, Lake Havasu, Maricopa, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Prescott, Safford, San Luis, Scottsdale, Sierra Vista, Surprise, Tempe, Tolleson, Tucson, Winslow, Yuma
  • Counties: Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, Yavapai, Yuma
  • Courts: Mohave County Superior Court,Pima County Superior Court, Pinal County Superior Court, Yuma Superior Court
  • Elections: Apache County Elections, Cochise County Elections, Coconino County Elections Department, Gila County Elections, Graham County Elections, Greenlee County Elections, La Paz County Elections, Navajo County Elections, Pima County Election Department, Pinal County Elections, Santa Cruz County Elections, Yavapai County Elections, Yuma County Elections
  • Fire: Arizona City Fire District, Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority, City of Bullhead Fire Department, Colorado City Fire District
  • Higher Education: Arizona State University, Arizona Western College, Cochise College, Coconino Community College, Eastern Arizona College, Glendale Community College, Maricopa Community College, Northern Arizona University, Northland Pioneer College, Phoenix College, Pima Community College, Scottsdale Community College, University of Arizona, Yavapai College
  • K-12: Beaver Creek School District, Benson Unified School District, Buckeye Union High School District, Cartwright School District, Cave Creek Unified School District, Chandler Unified School District, Chino Valley Unified School District 51, Concho Elementary School District, Congress Elementary School District, Continental Elementary School District, Creighton School District, Dysart Unified School District, Flagstaff Unified School District, Fountain Hills Unified School District, J.O. Combs Unified School District, Gadsden Elementary School District #32, Gilbert Public Schools, Glendale Elementary School District, Kyrene School District, Maricopa Unified School District, Murphy School District, Paradise Valley Unified School District, Patagonia Union High School, Pendergast Elementary School District, Peoria Unified School District, Phoenix Elementary School District, Pima Joint Technical Education District, Pine Strawberry School District #12, Pinon Unified School District, Pointe Schools, Prescott Unified School District, Round Valley Unified Schools, Safford Unified School District, Sahuarita Unified School District, Scottsdale unified School District, Sierra Vista Unified Schools #68, Snowflake Unified School District, Tempe Union High School District, Washington Elementary School District, Tucson Unified School District, Western Maricopa Education Center, Whiteriver Unified School District, Wickenburg Unified School District, Yuma Union High School District
  • Police: Mesa Police Department, Pima County Sheriff’s Department, St. Johns Police Department, Williams Police Department, Yuma County Sheriff’s Office
  • Recorders for Counties: Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Graham, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai
  • Towns: Cave Creek, Florence, Gilbert, Marana, Oro Valley, Paradise Valley, Prescott Valley, Queen Creek, Sahuarita
  • Other: City of Apache Junction Clerk, City of Phoenix Aviation Department, Education Technology Consortium, Fort Defiance Indian Hospital Board, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, Northern Arizona Council of Governments, Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, San Carlos Apache Healthcare Corporation, Sun Tran, Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation, Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority

After the canvass, Hobbs joined the Arizona House Democratic Caucus’ retreat.

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