Republican leaders in the Arizona legislature released statements at cross purposes in the ongoing fight over the certified results of the presidential election in the pivotal swing state.
Former vice president Joe Biden won the state’s 11 electoral states in the results that were certified by the state on Monday, but President Donald Trump and his allies have challenged the validity of the official count.
A joint press release from Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers on Friday called for an independent audit of the ballot counting machines in Maricopa County.
“A significant number of voters believe that fraud occurred and with the number of irregularities it is easy to understand why,” read the statement from House Majority Leader Warren Petersen. “Especially concerning are the allegations made surrounding the vendor Dominion. It is imperative that the County immediately do a forensic audit on the Dominion software and equipment to make sure the results were accurate.”
Trump praised both Fann and Bowers over the statement, and said that he would win the state after the audit.
“Thank you to Senate President Karen Fann and House Speaker Russell Bowers – and all, for what you are doing in Arizona. A fast check of signatures will easily give us the state. Votes against have been reduced to a very small number!” the president tweeted.
But in another statement released on Friday, Bowers made it clear that he would not support any decertification of the election results, and said that he was being asked to disobey his oath of office.
“Even if such evidence existed, the Arizona Legislature simply couldn’t do what is being asked. Under our state’s constitution, the Legislature can act only when it is in session, and the Legislature could call itself into a special session only with the support of a bipartisan supermajority of its members,” wrote Bowers in the statement.
He went on to explain that because of laws passed after the 2016 election, the legislature did not have the power to appoint different electors. They could change the law but could not do so for an election already passed.
“I voted for President Trump and worked hard to reelect him. But I cannot and will not entertain a suggestion that we violate current law to reverse the results of an election,” he added.
Bowers ended his statement with a quote from Ronald Reagan.
“Forty years ago next month, President Ronald Reagan reminded us that while the ‘orderly transfer of authority’ is a ‘commonplace occurrence’ for Americans, ‘[i]n the eyes of many in the world, this every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.’ Now Americans are reminded once again never to take for granted what President Reagan correctly described as ‘the continuity which is the bulwark of our Republic,'” he concluded.
Here’s more about the battle over the results in Arizona:
Challenging the 2020 Election vote in Arizona