(CNN)In the key battleground state of Arizona, Republican legislators this week moved to weaken the authority of Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, by limiting her ability to defend election lawsuits.
Late Thursday, the Arizona House passed a series of GOP-backed election measures, which were included in budget legislation that had passed the state Senate on Wednesday. It now heads to the desk of GOP Gov. Doug Ducey, who is expected to sign the legislation.
Among the measures is one that establishes Arizona’s attorney general as the “sole authority” to defend state election laws. That law will be in place only until January 2023 — with both the secretary of state’s office and the attorney general’s office potentially changing party hands in the 2022 election. Hobbs is running for governor, and Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich is running for Senate.
“This statutory sleight of hand is set to expire at the end of my term, leaving no doubt that this was prompted by my efforts to protect the freedom to vote and because they did not like the outcome of the Presidential Election,” Hobbs said in a statement.
It also bars the secretary of state from using any public funds for hiring outside lawyers. Additionally, it limits
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