Tucson, Nov 30 (efe-epa).- The state of Arizona on Monday certified the results of the Nov. 3 presidential election there and officially declared Joe Biden the winner of the contest, making him just the second Democratic presidential candidate to win the state since 1952.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said at the virtual certification ceremony that, despite “unprecedented challenges,” voters in her state “showed up for our democracy.”
She went on to say that “every Arizona voter has my thanks and should know that they can stand proud that this election was conducted with transparency, accuracy and fairness, in accordance with Arizona’s laws and elections procedures, despite numerous unfounded claims to the contrary,”
She said that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 3.4 million ballots were cast in the Nov. 3 election, an 80 percent participation rate for registered voters in the state.
Arizona reported an 8 percent increase in voter participation compared with the 2016 presidential election.
“We do elections well here in Arizona. The system is strong,” said state Gov. Doug Ducey during the same ceremony.
Biden won the state by 0.3 percent – or about 10,500 votes – thus denying the state’s 11 electoral votes to President Donald Trump, who was running for reelection.
At the same time that the certification ceremony was under way, members of the Trump campaign met in Phoenix to discuss what they claim is “proof” that irregularities occurred in the election in Arizona, despite the fact that the courts have thrown out a lawsuit the campaign filed questioning the result of the balloting.
In addition, a group of the president’s supporters showed up outside the building housing the election offices with flags and signs to protest the certification favoring Biden.
This is the first time since 1996 that a Democratic presidential candidate has won the state, with former President Bill Clinton winning the state in his reelection bid, and the previous time a Democrat won the state was in 1952.
Arizona, known for its tough stand against undocumented immigration, traditionally has voted Republican, but this time voters leaned “blue” (Democratic) in a move that many activists say came in large part because of the state’s Latino voters.
Although several national media outlets called the state for Biden on Election Night, others were more cautious and waited several days until more votes could be counted because the race was so close there.
The certification results also confirmed Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly over Republican incumbent Martha McSally, as well as voters’ approval of a law legalizing recreational marijuana use.