A partisan report reviewing millions of ballots cast in Arizona’s Maricopa County during the 2020 presidential election is being used by a number of Republicans to call for decertifying the results of last year’s election in the state.
Even though the results of Arizona’s sham audit reaffirmed Biden’s victory in Maricopa, state Rep. Mark Finchem, a Trump-endorsed candidate for Arizona’s secretary of state office, used the report to perpetuate false claims about the election and call to “Immediately Decertify the election” in a fundraising email Sunday.
Facts First: This is a pipe dream. There is no legal mechanism to undo the election results in any state.
“(T)he Constitution and federal law establish a very clear timeframe for holding presidential elections, and determining the results and implementing them,” Adav Noti, senior director for the Campaign Legal Center, told CNN, “and it would clearly violate the constitution and federal law for a state to try to change its results now.”
The election results in Arizona were certified on November 30, 2020. On December 14, the Electoral College convened and all 538 electors cast the electoral votes for president, with Joe Biden receiving 306 electoral votes to then-President Donald Trump’s 232. States cannot now undo the results.
Noti added that “unless they have a constitutional amendment and a time machine” there is “nothing that any state legislature has any power to do at this point with regard to the 2020 election.”
Asked whether a state could decertify election results, Edward Foley, director of election law at Ohio State University, said there was not. “No, not last year’s presidential election,” Foley said. “That’s over, once the Electoral College voted on December 14, 2020.”
Following the release of the Arizona audit report, Chris Krebs, the former director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency under Trump, even weighed in, tweeting, “When you see someone say ‘decertify,’ ignore them. There is no mechanism for such a thing under the law.”
Finchem’s call to decertify the election comes in the wake of a long line of Trump loyalists – and Trump himself – attempting to change the democratic results of the 2020 election.
On January 4, a plan to decertify the electors of several states was brought to then-Vice President Mike Pence, two days before Congress would count the Electoral College votes. Like Finchem’s proposal, the plan – written by John Eastman, a lawyer working for then-President Trump’s legal team – which Pence rejected, was built on falsehoods.