President-elect Joe Biden received further good electoral news later Thursday night as major news outlets—based on a fresh batch of reported results—finally put the state of Arizona in his column, cementing his national lead in the electoral college just as a statement issued from state and national election officials stated that President Donald Trump's continued claims of voter fraud are not based in reality.
Biden, as the New York Times reported late Thursday,
has narrowly won Arizona, capturing the state's 11 electoral votes and strengthening his Electoral College margin as President Trump continues to make baseless attacks on the vote counts favoring Mr. Biden.
Mr. Biden, whose margin in Arizona is currently about 11,000 votes, or 0.3 percentage points, is the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state since President Bill Clinton in 1996. Four years ago, Mr. Trump won the state by 3.5 percentage points.
While others, including Fox News, had already done so, NBC News and CNN were among the outlets to finally call the state in Biden's favor. With that, Biden has now secured 290 votes in the electoral college—20 over the 270 threshold needed—compared to Trump's 217. Biden also leads the popular vote by over 5 million—a lead that continues to grow.
And in Arizona, Biden’s lead now stands at 11,635 with about 24,000 votes to count, much of it in Dem-friendly Pima County
Biden: 1,663,447 votes (49.4%)
Trump: 1,651,812 votes (49.1%)
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) November 12, 2020
The news from Arizona dovetailed with a joint statement from national, state, and private election officials that declared—in a direct rebuke to lies and falsehoods spewed by Trump—that "the November 3rd election was the most secure in American history."
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Distributed by the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the statement issued by the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Executive Committees, federal bodies which oversee the election and include federal employees from within the Trump administration, declares unequivocally that "There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."
"While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections," the statement continued, "we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too. When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections."
As the Times noted, the statement from the election officials was released just hours after Trump repeated a baseless report that a voting machine system "deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide"—a baseless lie not substantiated by any evidence.
In an extraordinary rebuke, a federal agency releases statement from federal, state & local officials saying Trump is totally full of it when he claims large-scale election fraud
— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) November 13, 2020
In addition to backing the substance of the statement, Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), was openly going on offense against Trump's misinformation tactics—which he called "Rumor Control" on social media. Among his activity on Twitter, Krebs retweeted a post from David Becker, an election security expert and director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research, who warned people against being taken by such false claims.
"Please don't retweet wild and baseless claims about voting machines, even if they're made by the president," Becker had tweeted. "These fantasies have been debunked many times, including by @DHSgov @CISAgov on this excellent site/resource, Rumor Control."