Hobbs has been a vocal opponent of the audit, which has been demanded by Republican senators and is overseen by a provider of electoral plots. The audit began last month, even though county election officials had carried out two previous audits and found no evidence of widespread fraud or other problems.
“Death threats are pouring in,” Hobbs’ press secretary C. Murphy Hebert told CNN. Hobbs’ office had made the request for a security guard to Gov. Doug Ducey’s office on Thursday afternoon.
Thursday’s security request was prompted by an incident involving a Gateway Pundit reporter who mistakenly identified himself as a “YouTuber” and chased after Hobbs and his news staff, according to Hebert. Earlier today, the secretary’s office had received a “very specific death threat asking what she was wearing that day so that she could be easily identified,” Hebert told CNN.
The review is overseen by a company whose chief executive backed former President Donald Trump and shared electoral conspiracy theories in since-deleted tweets. Organizers of the audit GOP ignored requests from election integrity groups to allow non-partisan election administration experts to observe the process.
“This is unlike any audit I’ve ever seen,” Mark Lindeman, acting co-director of Verified Voting, a non-partisan organization focused on technology and election administration, told CNN. “If he intends to be seen as impartial and credible, they have made serious mistakes. “
This is the second time in six months that Hobbs has received personal protection. The first time, immediately after the 2020 general election, during the vote count in Maricopa County, was lifted after the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
CNN’s Sara Murray and Stephanie Becker contributed to this report.