Arizona County's Pushback on Certifying Election Ends

GOP-controlled Cochise County ordered by judge to do so
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 28, 2022 6:10 PM CST
Updated Dec 2, 2022 11:46 AM CST
Arizona County Refuses to Certify Election
An election worker holds a stack of counted ballots at the Maricopa County Recorder's Office in Phoenix, Nov. 10, 2022.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
UPDATE Dec 2, 2022 11:46 AM CST

Cochise County has certified its 2022 elections. The move came after Judge Casey McGinley ruled Thursday that the rural Arizona county's Board of Supervisors had an hour and a half to call a meeting and approve the results by the end of the day, despite pushback from two GOP members of the three-person panel that had caused them to miss their Monday deadline, per the AP. Republican Tom Crosby skipped the new meeting, and fellow GOPer Peggy Judd said that although she was glad she'd twice blocked certification, she felt compelled to go along with McGinley's order. The board's lone Democrat, Ann English, had earlier called the stalling "a circus that doesn't need to have to happen." Secretary of State and Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs can now hold the statewide certification this coming Monday.

Nov 28, 2022 6:10 PM CST

Republican officials in a rural Arizona county refused on Monday to certify the 2022 election ahead of the deadline amid pressure from prominent Republicans to reject a vote count that had Democrats winning US Senate, governor, and other statewide races. State election officials have said they'll sue Cochise County if the Board of Supervisors misses Monday's deadline to approve the official tally of votes, known as the canvass. The two Republican county supervisors delayed the canvass vote until hearing once more about concerns over the certification of ballot tabulators, though election officials have repeatedly said the equipment is properly approved, the AP reports.

Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs' office has previously said it would sue if the county misses the deadline. "The Board of Supervisors had all of the information they needed to certify this election and failed to uphold their responsibility for Cochise voters," Sophia Solis, a spokeswoman for Hobbs, told the AP. Hobbs is the governor-elect, but GOP rival Kari Lake has vowed to fight the result. Elsewhere, Republican supervisors in Mohave County postponed a certification vote until Thursday after hearing comments from residents angry about problems with ballot printers in Maricopa County. Officials in Maricopa County, the state's largest, containing Phoenix, said that everyone had a chance to vote and that all legal ballots were counted.

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State Elections Director Kori Lorick wrote in a letter last week that the state would sue to force Cochise County supervisors to certify, and if they don't do so by the deadline for the statewide canvass on Dec. 5, the county's votes would be excluded. That move threatens to flip the victor in at least two close races—a US House seat and state schools chief—from a Republican to a Democrat. Luzerne County in Pennsylvania has also decided not to certify its election results, setting up a possible legal battle, Politico reports. A county board vote on certification was deadlocked 2-2, with one abstention. The county had major problems on Election Day, including a shortage of paper ballots. (More Election 2022 stories.)

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