A recently discovered filing in a court case relating to Big Tech censorship revealed that the office of Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs coordinated with Twitter to censor election “misinformation” in January 2021.
The documents (pdf), filed on Aug. 31 in the case Missouri v. Biden and circulated Dec. 3 on Twitter, show that on Jan. 7, 2021, the communications director for Hobbs’ secretary of state office emailed the Center for Internet Security (CIS), a nonprofit cybersecurity organization, to report “Election Related Misinformation.”
The missive flagged two posts from a redacted Twitter account as being “of specific concern to the Secretary of State.”
“These messages falsely assert that the Voter Registration System is owned and therefore operated by foreign actors,” Hobbs’ communication director wrote. “This is an attempt to further undermine confidence in the election institution in Arizona. Thank you for your consideration in reviewing this matter for action.”
A CIS representative then forwarded the email to Twitter for review, writing, “Please see this report below from the Arizona SOS Office.”
A redacted Twitter employee replied that they would “escalate” the matter, and then followed up with a final email to both CIS and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) confirming that both tweets had been removed.
Hobbs, a Democrat and Arizona’s governor-elect, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Her Republican opponent, Kari Lake—who has yet to concede the gubernatorial race to Hobbs—responded to the news on Twitter.
“Conflict of Interest, Coercion, Corruption,” she wrote.
Hobbs, as Arizona’s secretary of state, serves as the state’s chief elections officer. Leading up to election, she made waves when, despite concerns raised by Lake and former Arizona secretaries of state of the appearance of a conflict of interest, she chose not to recuse herself from her oversight duties relating to her own election.
Further, per Daily Caller, when the Mohave County Board of Supervisors opted to delay certification of the midterm election results in their county in political protest, Arizona State Elections Director Kori Lorick—one of Hobbs’ top deputies—threatened the board’s members with legal action.
“The Secretary of State did contact our County and cited A.R.S. Section 16-1010 as a statute that could be used to prosecute [the board] if they did not certify the election,” Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith told Daily Caller.
On Nov. 28, the Mohave County Board of Supervisors voted to certify the results, with the board’s chairman, Ron Gould, casting his “aye” vote “under duress.”
“I found out today that I have no choice but to vote ‘aye’ or I will be arrested and charged with a felony,” Gould noted while casting his vote. “I don’t think that is what the founders had in mind when they used the democratic process to elect our leaders.”
Lake has vowed to take legal action to contest the results of Arizona’s gubernatorial election, decrying, in particular, the problems experienced by thousands of voters in Maricopa County on Election Day.
On Dec. 1, U.S. District Judge John Tuchi granted a motion for sanctions against Lake that was filed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in response to a lawsuit Lake filed against the county over its administration of the election.
“It is to make clear that the Court will not condone litigants ignoring the steps that Arizona has already taken toward [elections] and furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation about, and distrust in, the democratic process,” the judge wrote in granting the motion.
Lake commented on the motion via Twitter, noting: “In June, I sued over the use of tabulators in my election. I alleged these machines were prone to failure. This suit was dismissed for standing. On election day, 32% of the machines failed statewide. Yesterday, an Obama-judge sanctioned my lawyers for bringing the suit at all.”
In a subsequent post, Lake pledged to “never stop” fighting, stating, “Living in Arizona is a blessing and we can’t take it for granted.”