A judge assigned to a Republican-led lawsuit alleging widespread fraud in the presidential election in Georgia issued an order late Sunday night blocking plans to wipe or reset voting machines used in three counties in the state. U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten Sr. revealed in his four-page directive that he held a hearing via Zoom Sunday evening on the suit — one of two cases filed in federal courts last week by Sidney Powell, an outspoken Texas attorney who joined President Donald Trump’s legal team earlier this month only to be dismissed from it a few days later. The hearing was not announced on the court’s docket and appears not to have been open to the press or public. It seems to have focused on claims that the election results in Georgia were wildly inaccurate due to use of machines from a leading vendor of voting equipment — Dominion Election Systems. Powell has alleged, based on scant evidence, that the firm’s foreign ties allowed hostile governments to meddle in the U.S. election via a conspiracy that involved both Democratic and Republican U.S. officials. While many Democratic and some Republican officials have dismissed Powell’s claims as a fantasy, some GOP leaders are also warning that the effort to stoke doubt about the just-completed election could depress Republican turnout in a pair of runoff elections set for Jan. 5 in Georgia that could determine whether the GOP or Democrats control the U.S. Senate for the next two years.
Arizona officials certified the results of the state’s election on Monday, confirming Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state and clearing the way for Mark Kelly to take his seat in the U.S. Senate this week. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs touted high turnout despite the election unfolding in the middle of a pandemic. Voters cast more than 3.2 million ballots and turnout neared 80%, a 23% increase from the midterm election two years ago and an 8% increase from the last presidential election in 2016, Hobbs said. “Despite the unprecedented challenges, Arizonans showed up for our democracy,” Hobbs said. “Every Arizona voter has my thanks and should know they can stand proud that this election was transparency, accuracy and fairness in accordance with Arizona’s laws and election procedures, despite numerous unfounded claims to the contrary.” Hobbs, a Democrat, signed the official election results in the old state Capitol in Phoenix along with the state’s Republican governor and attorney general, Doug Ducey and Mark Brnovich, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel. Ducey expressed confidence in the election process. “We do elections well here in Arizona. The system is strong and that’s why I bragged on it so much,” he said.