Former President Barack Obama said during a rally that democracy may not survive in Arizona if election deniers Republicans running for key offices win the midterm elections in the state.

“Folks can win if we don’t do our part,” Obama said to a crowd of more than 1,000 people in a high school gymnasium in Phoenix. “If you got election deniers serving as your governor, as your senator, as your secretary of state, as your attorney general, then democracy, as we know it, may not survive in Arizona.”

“That’s not an exaggeration. That’s a fact,” he added.

In Arizona, many GOP candidates are openly election deniers, embracing baseless claims made by former President Donald Trump and his allies.

Kari Lake, who is running for governor, has repeatedly falsely claimed that the 2020 election was rigged even when presented to facts debunking her allegations. She has also been reluctant to answer if she would accept the results if she loses next week. Lake faces Democrat Katie Hobbs in a competitive race.

Mark Finchem, the GOP nominee for secretary of state, has openly identified himself as a member of the extremist group Oath Keepers. He has claimed the state should ban voting machines and ballots should be counted by hand.

Abraham Hamadeh, the Republican nominee for attorney general, has once promised a “day of reckoning” for “those who worked to rob President Trump in the rigged 2020 election.”

In his remarks, Obama pointed out to the damage election deniers have to the democratic process and reminded voters that he worked for a peaceful transition to the Trump administration.

“When Donald Trump won, I stayed up till 3 in the morning so I could offer a congratulatory call to somebody who opposed everything I stood for, but I believed in the peaceful transfer of power,” he said. “I sat at his inauguration. We welcomed him into the White House. Because that’s what America’s supposed to be about. Did we forget that? Did that only apply to one side?”

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