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Fact Check: Instagram posts – Split-ticket votes in Arizona aren’t evidence of fraud in gubernatorial contest

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs won a tight race for governor with 50.4% of the vote, according to unofficial election results, beating Republican challenger Kari Lake. 

A recent Instagram post casts doubt on the victory, sharing an image of an election results map that shows Arizona largely awash in red, the color of Republican votes. Text below the map indicates that the Republican Party won six seats while the Democratic Party won three. 

“Ok you tell me how come so many people voted #republican for the #ussenate in #az but somehow decided not to vote in a #republicangovernor does that make any sense? @karilake please sue the f**k out of these cheating people and prove there’s cheating going on in these elections.” 

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

First, some technical points. The map in the post doesn’t show U.S. Senate election results in Arizona; it shows U.S. House of Representatives election results there. Six Republican candidates in Arizona won seats in the House. 

You can see the map, which appears in Google search results, by searching “Arizona House race.” From there, you can also toggle between the U.S. Senate race and the governor race. 

A Democrat also prevailed in the Senate race. Incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly won re-election with 51.4% of the vote, according to unofficial election results. 

Plus, those results on the Arizona secretary of state’s website Nov. 15 reflected that more Arizona voters cast a ballot for Kelly, who received about 1.3 million votes, than for Hobbs, who received about 1.27 million. 

But more voters didn’t cast a ballot for Kelly’s opponent, Republican Blake Masters, than they did for Lake, as the Instagram post suggests. Masters received about 1.18 million votes, while Lake received about 1.25 million votes. 

Even so, split-ticket voting doesn’t signal fraud. Consider Texas 2018: more voters cast a ballot for Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who handily beat his opponent with 55.8% of the vote, than for incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, who received fewer votes than Abbott and beat Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke more narrowly, with only 50.9% of the vote. 

Axios reported that split-ticket voters in 2022 played an “outsized role in critical midterm contests” with the potential to decide final results in close Senate races in Georgia and Arizona.  

Liam Kerr, a co-founder of WelcomePAC, which sought Republican votes for Democrat Tim Ryan in Ohio’s Senate race, told Axios that “both parties and the media love polarization porn, but normal voters know the electorate is volatile and ticket-splitters are common.”

Ticket-splitting in Arizona does not signify fraud in the state’s governor’s race. It signifies that people voted for candidates and not for political parties. We rate this claim Pants on Fire!


Source: PolitiFact.