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Arizona secretary of state says GOP election audit 'seems like such a farce'

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs slammed the efforts of Republicans in her state to lead an election audit of ballots cast during 2020, saying that it "seems like such a farce" and should end.

Hobbs's remarks came during a Monday night interview with CNN's Chris CuomoChris CuomoCNN's Lemon, Cuomo to host new podcast DOJ: Arizona recount could violate civil rights laws Haaland: Santorum's Native American comments 'unfortunate' MORE on "Cuomo Prime Time."

"A group of Republicans are continuing to try to appease their base who refuse to accept that ... Trump lost Arizona and that he's not the president anymore," Hobbs told Cuomo.

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Maricopa County, which is one of the largest counties in Arizona, handed over nearly 2.1 million ballots and 400 tabulation machines to the state Senate last week after Republican lawmakers subpoenaed the materials from last year's presidential election.

The Arizona Democratic Party and Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo then filed a lawsuit against the state Senate to stop the recount altogether, arguing that it violates a number of election laws, but the effort was allowed to continue after they failed to provide a required $1 million bond.

Hobbs told Cuomo that her office has been working "with a lawsuit that's been filed to try to address the security's concerns at a minimum, but at this point, this seems like such a farce that it would be a good idea to stop it."

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The audit marks one of the most aggressive efforts by GOP state lawmakers to back former President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization MORE's claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him and that voter fraud was to blame for his loss.

"We have so many concerns about this exercise," Hobbs said Monday. "I kind of don't want to call it an audit. I think that's an insult to professional auditors everywhere because they're making this stuff up as they go along."

The ballot recount's GOP organizers have not disclosed who will do the counting or whether it will be a bipartisan effort. The review will also be broadcast live by the conservative network One America News Network, according to CNN. 

"I think there was a high level of expectation that whoever had their hands on the ballots and the equipment would adhere to some level of security measures and transparency, and that clearly has not happened," Hobbs said.

On Monday, a new judge was assigned to oversee a legal challenge to the election audit in Arizona after the judge originally hearing the case withdrew.