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Arizona Secretary of State candidates Mark Finchem and Adrian Fontes.
Arizona Secretary of State candidates Mark Finchem and Adrian Fontes.Matt York/AP file

iVote to spend $5 million in Arizona Secretary of State race

The group works to elect Democratic Secretaries of State. So far, they've also run ads in Michigan and Minnesota.


iVote, a group that works to elect Democratic Secretaries of State, will spend $5 million on an ad campaign in Arizona to boost Democratic Secretary of State candidate Adrian Fontes and attack his Republican opponent, Mark Finchem.

In 2018, the group spent $3 million in the state's Secretary of State race to help elect Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who is now running for governor.

This year, the ads highlight Fontes' military career and commitment to expanding voting rights. They also highlight Finchem's extreme position as someone who continues to deny that Joe Biden fairly won the 2020 election.

More than that, Finchem has also indicated that he would not certify the results of a 2024 presidential election if Joe Biden won.

"If the law is followed, and legitimate votes have been counted, and Joe Biden ends up being the winner, I’m required under the law—if there’s no fraud—to certify the election ... [but] I think you’re proposing something that, quite frankly, is a fantasy," Finchem told Time Magazine.

In most states, including Arizona, Secretaries of State are the people who oversee and administer elections.

iVote has also spent over $2 million in Michigan and $2 million in Minnesota, according to AdImpact, to run ads against election-denying Secretary of State candidates in those states.

iVote hopes that once Arizona voters see how extreme Finchem is, they'll vote for Fontes.

"From our research, I don't think people would vote for someone who continues to lie ... what we're more concerned about is people having the correct information. We think it's disqualifying and we think that most voters think it's disqualifying," Ellen Kurz, iVote's founder and president, told NBC News.

The Arizona ads are funded by iVote, but were produced and are being run in partnership with the Arizona Democratic Party.

“As a result of the critical investment iVote made in 2018, Arizonans elected a pro-voting Secretary of State that administered elections impartially," Charlie Fisher, the Executive Director for the Arizona Democratic Party, said in a statement.

He added, "We’re proud to announce a renewed partnership including an historic $5 million investment to prevent an election denying extremist who is committed to throwing out votes he doesn’t like from taking over Arizona elections.”

Kurz echoed a similar sentiment, focusing on what she says is a danger in the future if Finchem is elected.

"I would call the [Arizona] race right now a toss up. And, you know, I think this huge investment and partnership is going to go a long way to making sure that democracy is still intact [for the] next presidential election," Kurz said.