Arizona lawmakers split on party lines over challenges to electoral votes

(Video compiled by Cronkite News staff)

Hours after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, lawmakers returned to complete the democratic process of certifying Joseph Biden as 46th president. But the vote came only after debate over challenges filed against Electoral College results in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

Arizona lawmakers voted mostly along party lines, according to the Washington Post: Republicans supported the challenges and Democrats rejected them. However, Rep. David Schweikert, R-Paradise Valley, did not support the Arizona challenge but did vote for challenges in Pennsylvania.

Here are excerpts from the statements of six Arizona lawmakers on C-SPAN2.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona: “Eight challenges contesting the Arizona election were brought to federal and state courts. All eight were withdrawn or dismissed, including a unanimous ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court.”

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert: “In going around the deadline set by the Legislature, the court ignored the Arizona Legislature’s obligation and right to direct the matter for choosing presidential electors. As a consequence of that usurpation, more than 32,000 people were allowed to unlawfully cast ballots in Arizona’s presidential election in 2020.”

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson: “To continue a baseless, conspiracy-fueled threat to our democracy makes no sense because there is no viable constitutional or legal path to overturn the election.”

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott: “My ask to you the speaker, to the vice president, is simple: Do not count these electors until and unless the secretary of state allows a forensic audit of the election – a request she has denied repeatedly.”

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix: “Today, there was treason in this House. Today, there was traitors in this house. Time for you to save your country. That man at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will forget you. He will use you, and he will dump you to the side. But what would be left will be the stain – the stain of democracy that you are engaging in right now.”

Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Sedona: “In Arizona, this process was administered and overseen by officials from both parties. Election officials conducted random, hand-counted audits of many precincts and confirmed there were no errors that would change the result of the election. Now is the time to come together, to preserve our democracy and to protect our national security.”

News Reporter, Phoenix