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Arizona certifies election results, finalizing victories for Biden and Kelly

Arizona certifies election results
Arizona certifies election results 01:42

Arizona's top statewide officials on Monday officially certified their results in the battleground state, finalizing historic victories in the state for President-elect Joe Biden and Senator-elect Mark Kelly.

"The complexity this year has been compounded by the pandemic. In spite of this, we had an extremely well-run election and saw historically high voter participation," Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, said Monday at the certification event in Phoenix. 

Hobbs signed off on the state's final election tallies with Arizona Chief Justice Robert Brutinel and some of the state's top-ranking elected Republicans, Governor Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

"As I've said before, we do elections well here in Arizona. The system is strong. And that's why I've bragged on it so much," said Ducey. 

Ducey said the paperwork formalizing Kelly's election would be "hand delivered" to the secretary of the U.S. Senate "so that Arizona's newest senator can be sworn into office as swiftly as possible." 

As a special election, Kelly will first fill out the remainder of the late Senator John McCain's term before the new Congress officially takes their seats in January. A senior Democratic aide told CBS News that Kelly is slated to be sworn in on Wednesday. 

Trump continues to push false election claims... 02:23

Mr. Biden's victory in the state, projected by CBS News more than two weeks ago, is a long-coveted win for Democrats. Democrats flipped the other seat in 2018, with Kyrsten Sinema defeating Martha McSally, who was then appointed to the late Senator John McCain's seat. Kelly defeated McSally in the November 3 election, and Mr. Biden became only the second Democrat after former President Bill Clinton to win Arizona's Electoral College votes since 1952.

As in other battleground states, Republicans in Arizona have complained about the results in the state for weeks, raising fears over voter fraud and filing lawsuits over alleged election irregularities. State and local officials, including several Republicans, have repeatedly denounced the outcry as unfounded and affecting only a handful of votes at most. 

In the final tally, Mr. Biden had won in Arizona by more than 10,000 votes.

Most of the bids in Arizona courts by the Trump campaign and their allies have faced legal defeats and few options remain for the GOP to contest the results in court. At least one case from the Arizona Republican Party remains active, with a hearing before a state judge on Monday.

The Trump campaign team is hosting an hourslong event headlined by Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis with some Republican state legislators at a downtown Phoenix hotel. 

The president tweeted Monday about the "hearing," which the Arizona legislature's GOP leadership has publicly distanced themselves from. Mr. Trump also criticized Fox News for not covering the event.

Some Trump allies in Arizona have called on their legislature to override the results governing the state's 11 electoral votes, though Arizona's GOP governor has expressed little interest in calling the legislature into a special session to consider such an unprecedented proposal. 

"As I've said, we can trust our elections here in Arizona. And I'm going to respect the results of the election," Ducey said at a press conference before Thanksgiving

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