Were 35,000 votes added to every Democratic candidate in Arizona? No, that's not true: There's no evidence to support that statement. In some legislative races, Democratic candidates received fewer than 35,000 votes total, which makes the claim illogical as well as impossible. A spokeswoman for the Arizona secretary of state said the accusation was "absolutely false."
The claim surfaced during a Fox Business interview (archived here) between Lou Dobbs and Sidney Powell on November 24, 2020. Powell, a former federal prosecutor, was identified on the show as a member of Donald Trump's legal team, although his campaign had two days earlier disavowed her. During the segment, Powell said:
We've got one witness that says in Arizona at least there were 35,000 votes added to every Democratic candidate just to start their voting off. It's like getting your $500 of Monopoly money to begin with when you haven't done anything -- and it was only for Democrats.
Click below to watch the video on YouTube:
There may well be a person who claims what Powell said, but what that person purportedly claims cannot be true, given the 2020 election results reported by the Arizona secretary of state. In some legislative races, Democratic candidates received fewer than 35,000 votes total.
For example, in the race for the 29th Legislative District in the Arizona House of Representatives, Democratic candidate Richard Andrade received 32,075 votes. In the race for the 30th District, Raquel Teran and Robert Meza, both Democrats, got 34,106 and 30,546 votes, respectively. While in the 4th District, Democratic candidate Geraldine Peten received 29,342 votes. None of those tallies would be possible if 35,000 votes were added to every Democratic candidate in Arizona. The numbers aren't there.
In some races, 35,000 fewer votes for the Democratic candidate would have flipped the outcome of the election. Joe Biden and Donald Trump were separated by some 10,500 votes in Arizona, a battleground state. Other races were decided by a margin of more than 35,000 votes. In the Arizona Senate race, for example, Mark Kelly, a Democrat, defeated Martha McSally, a Republican, by close to 79,000 votes.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has repeatedly defended the integrity of her state's election. In a letter to the president of the Arizona Senate, dated November 10, 2020, Hobbs wrote:
To be clear, there is no 'current controversy' regarding elections in Arizona, outside of theories floated by those seeking to undermine our democratic process for political gain. Elected officials should work to build, rather than damage, public confidence in our system. As we've seen in recent days, even efforts ostensibly aimed at knocking down misinformation can actually amplify it.
The administration of the 2020 election has been, by all measures, a rousing success in Arizona -- despite the unprecedented challenges that confronted our state and county election officials.
You can see the full text of her letter here:
Secretary of state replies to the senate president's call for some kind of outside review of results-- Andrew Oxford (@andrewboxford) November 10, 2020
"To be clear, there is no 'current controversy' regarding elections in AZ, outside of theories floated by those seeking to undermine our democratic process for political gain" pic.twitter.com/EdUg7kIOuS
Lead Stories reached out to Hobbs' office for comment on this story. Spokeswoman Sophia Solis responded with a one-sentence statement about the claim that 35,000 votes were added to every Democratic candidate:
It is absolutely false.