Arizona Governor Admits Biden Won State Three Weeks After It Was Called

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, acknowledged Tuesday that Joe Biden won the state's 11 electoral votes—three weeks after the 2020 battleground was called for the Democratic nominee.

"I trust our election system, there is integrity in our election system," Ducey said during an appearance on The Mike Broomhead Show on KTAR News. "Joe Biden did win Arizona."

As of Tuesday afternoon, the ballot count showed Biden leading Trump by 10,457 votes. Biden is the first Democratic presidential nominee to win the traditionally red state since 1996. Trump won the state by 3.5 points in 2016.

The state was called on Election Day by the Associated Press and Fox News. The early call (other news outlets didn't project Biden the winner of the state until November 12) reportedly infuriated the president. Members of his campaign also publicly attacked Fox, a conservative cable news outlet.

Ducey wrote in a tweet at the time, "It's far too early to call the election in Arizona. Election Day votes are not fully reported, and we haven't even started to count early ballots dropped off at the polls. In AZ, we protected Election Day. Let's count the votes—all the votes—before making declarations."

Trump's legal team and its Republican allies filed several lawsuits in the swing state alleging voter fraud and election irregularities. Most of the legal challenges have been dropped or dismissed.

One allegation involved the use of Sharpie markers, later dubbed #Sharpiegate. Social media posts after Election Day suggested that officials in Arizona's Maricopa County provided voters with Sharpie pens, which interfered with ballots cast for Trump being counted. The conspiracy theory was debunked, as election officials confirmed that Sharpies were used in voting but they would not invalidate a ballot.

Audits in Arizona's four largest counties, which included 86 percent of all votes cast for president in the state, turned up no evidence of the systematic voter fraud that Trump and his allies have alleged.

president-elect joe biden virtual meeting 11/23
President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a virtual meeting with the United States Conference of Mayors on November 23 in Wilmington, Delaware. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, acknowledged Tuesday that Joe Biden won the state’s 11 electoral votes—three weeks after state was called for the Democratic nominee. Mark Makela/Getty

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, has called on Trump and members of Congress to stop "perpetuating misinformation" as she faces threats of violence following the 2020 election.

"It is well past time that they stop," Hobbs said in a statement last week. "Their words and actions have consequences."

Election officials in Arizona are expected to certify the 2020 results next week. Leaders of Maricopa County, the state's most populous county, certified election results last week that showed Biden won the presidential race. Legal challenges brought by Trump and the Republican Party have failed to delay certification.

Ducey said Tuesday that he expects the state to move forward with officially certifying Biden as the winner.

"There's no reason, at this point, with what's happening inside the legal system that that wouldn't go forward and that is my expectation," the governor said.

Newsweek reached out to both the Biden and Trump campaigns for comment on Ducey's remarks but did not receive a response before publication.