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Arizona Secretary Of State Hobbs Wants Trump Investigated For Possibly Interfering With Mail-In Ballots

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs asked Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate the Trump administration for actively conspiring to interfere with Arizona's mail-in ballots by deliberately slowing down the Postal Service.

In her letter to Brnovich, Hobbs cited recent changes to the U.S. Postal Service, including the elimination of overtime, hiring freezes and the removal of mail sorting machines, coupled with President Donald Trump's statement on Fox News that slowing down the post office would prevent mail-in voting, as evidence of a "coordinated scheme" to interfere with the election.

"There's no need to read between the lines here," the letter stated. "The president explicitly admitted to an intentional effort to interfere with USPS's ability to deliver ballots by mail."

The state constitution explicitly protects the right to vote from interference by any civil authority, Hobbs argued, and in a state where nearly three-quarters of voters vote by mail, "attempts to sabotage the USPS just months before an election are most certainly attempts to interfere with the free exercise of the right of suffrage" as guaranteed by the constitution, the letter said.

The Attorney General's Election Integrity Unit was created in 2019 by the state Legislature and has investigated several instances of voter fraud. It recently indicted Flagstaff mayoral candidate Victor Varela for submitting fraudulent signatures, and secured several convictions and indictments for illegal voting in the 2016 and 2018 elections.

The Secretary of State's Office has been flooded with calls from voters who were concerned about the integrity of the state's vote-by-mail system after hearing the president's attempts to discredit it.

"I think it is incumbent on us to really encounter this kind of disinformation and ensure that voters have confidence in the integrity of the system, and not allow these kinds of disinformation campaigns to dissuade them from participation," she said.

Hobbs said she hoped the attorney general would work with her office to protect the integrity of Arizona's long-standing vote-by-mail system.

"As two of the top elected officials in the state, my hope is that we would be able to work in partnership to uphold the integrity of the state's elections," Hobbs said. "I think this is a perfect opportunity for the election integrity unit to do what it was established to do."

Attorney General Mark Brnovich said his office would look into Hobbs' complaint.

“We review every complaint, regardless of merit," Brnovich said in a statement. "Confidence in elections is the cornerstone of our democracy. I will continue to protect the integrity of our elections, even when other state officials won’t.”

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Scott Bourque was a reporter and podcast producer at KJZZ from 2019 to 2022.