PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A top Republican leader in Arizona is dismissing calls from fellow Republican Donald Trump and his legal team to overturn the certified results of the November election.
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers admits that no election is perfect, but Trump and his legal team's lawsuits won't go anywhere because the state Legislature can't overturn the election results. He said the Trump team made claims during two different events this week that there was widespread voter fraud, "but presented only theories, not proof." Bowers said the president needs to accept the results
"As a conservative Republican, I don't like the results of the presidential election. I voted for President Trump and worked hard to reelect him. But I cannot and will not entertain a suggestion that we violate current law to change the outcome of a certified election," said Bowers in a statement.
Bowers, who represents District 25, points to the state constitution, which says the Legislature can't act unless it's in session, which won't happen for another two weeks. Even if a special session is called, which would take a supermajority of the legislators, the members couldn't force Arizona's electors to vote for someone other than who won Arizona's election, which is Joe Biden. Bowers said the Trump legal team points to an 1892 case that said the Legislature could appoint electors at any time but it can't undo the election of electors for who the voters already voted for, which is Biden.
"No election is perfect, and if there were evidence of illegal votes or an improper count, then Arizona law provides a process to contest the election: a lawsuit under state law. But the law does not authorize the Legislature to reverse the results of an election," said Bowers in a statement.
Senator-elect Kelly Townsend, who is also a Republican and represents District 16 which is next to District 25, released a statement on Friday night claiming the Arizona Legislature isn't bound to the Arizona Constitution in this case because the Legislature is performing a federal function. She reiterated her call for an elections committee to look into the "irregularities" of the election. Full statement can be read here.
Bowers ended his statement with a quote from former President Ronald Reagan encouraging the peaceful transfer of power and how it could be a common occurrence for Americans, but "[i]n the eyes of many in the world, this every-4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle."
Full statement can be read below.