Arizona secretary of state says Trump campaign doesn’t have legal pathway should it bring lawsuit

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) said Wednesday that the Trump campaign does not have a “legal pathway” should it look to sue the state over its vote counting.

“They don’t have a legal pathway to challenge. We are legally counting valid ballots, and there’s not a way to stop that,” Hobbs said on CNN. 

Arizona has already been projected to fall into Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s column, though Hobbs estimated there are 600,000 outstanding votes left to be counted. About 400,000 of those votes are in Maricopa County, the largest county in the state, which leans Democratic, and the “bulk” of those votes are early ballots that were dropped off on Monday or Tuesday.

“We’ve said from day one that this is going to take time. We want to do it right. We want to make sure that every vote is counted,” Hobbs said, adding that counting every single vote the night of Election Day was “never going to happen.” 

The Trump campaign has taken a bullish stance on its chances for victory on the election even as swing states such as Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin go Biden’s way and the former vice president appears headed toward an Electoral College victory. 

Trump’s camp has already announced it would sue to stop ballot counting in the two key battlegrounds of Michigan and Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is too close to call, but Biden is rapidly eating into Trump’s lead as mail-in votes are tabulated. The campaign is also demanding a recount of the race in Wisconsin, citing unsubstantiated reports of “irregularities.”

Pennsylvania legally could not count mail ballots, which are believed to significantly favor Biden, until after the in-person vote concluded.

Trump aides have projected confidence that the president would be able to erase Biden’s nearly 100,000-vote lead in Arizona, a state that has not gone for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1996, though several outlets, including The Associated Press, have called it for Biden. 

Arizona law requires a recount to be triggered if the margin separating two candidates is less than or equal to 0.1 percent, though Biden currently leads by more than 3 points. 

The former vice president’s campaign has put together the Biden Fight Fund, which is raising money for what campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon called in an email to supporters “the biggest and most comprehensive legal effort ever assembled” to combat Trump’s legal onslaught.

Tags Arizona Donald Trump 2020 presidential campaign Joe Biden Katie Hobbs
See all Hill.TV See all Video