Rural Arizona County Certifies Election Results After Receiving Court Order
A rural Arizona county has certified the 2022 election result after repeatedly refusing to do so. On Thursday, a judge ordered the county commissioners to certify the results within 90 minutes, and they complied with the order.
Failure to certify the election results in the state could have cost a Republican seat in the House, which would narrow even more the tight majority the party secured in the midterms.
The Republican-led Cochise County Board of Supervisors refused on Monday to certify the election, claiming issues with voting machines, despite no evidence of problems with the ballot counting.
The board postponed the certification and asked for more time, missing a deadline to finish the process.
In response, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs — a Democrat who is also the governor-elect — sued the board for missing the deadline and said that if the county ultimately refused to certify the results, the ballots of its more than 47,000 residents would not be included in the tally.
That scenario would flip the election results in Arizona’s Sixth District, where Republican Juan Ciscomani had a 5,232-vote lead over Democrat Kirsten Engel, according to unofficial results.
“The Board’s inaction not only violates the plain language of the statute, but also undermines a basic tenet of free and fair elections in this state: ensuring that every Arizonan’s voice is heard,” the lawsuit reads.
Republicans won a narrow majority in the House in the midterms, securing 222 seats — only four more above the 218 necessary to hold a majority. So missing one seat could have significant consequences for the party, including the House Speakership.
Prominent Republicans in Arizona have been pushing false claims about the voting process, echoing former president’s Donald Trump rhetoric claiming the 2020 elections was stolen, which has been widely debunked.
In the race for governor, Kari Lake, a former TV anchor who became a far-right icon, has not yet conceded her loss to Hobbs and has repeatedly spread false allegations about the voting process during the campaign.
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