Republicans in an Arizona county refuse to certify election results
Despite the lack of evidence, Cochise County officials have endorsed claims of voter fraud.
Republican officials in an Arizona county refused on Monday to certify the results of the 2022 midterm election, even though there is no evidence of anything fraud with the count from earlier this month. Officials who believe in voter fraud fought back, defying a state deadline and setting the stage for a legal battle.
The county was holding out in the afternoon of a stressful day, which was the deadline for several counties to confirm results, and the move came amid pressure from prominent Republicans to reject results showing Democrats winning top races.
In a lawsuit on Monday, the Democratic Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs, asked a judge to order county officials to canvass the election, which she said was an obligation under Arizona law.
With the deadline for counties to approve the official tally of votes on Monday, known as the canvass, lawyers representing a Cochise county voter and a group of retirees filed a similar lawsuit.
How did #Arizona react to the problems with its voting machines?#AlMayadeen online director Bahia Halawi covering the #US #MidtermElections2022.#Midterms2022 #Election2022 #Midterms @halawiBahia https://t.co/Mn9qfCO8zt— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) November 9, 2022
The two Republican county supervisors postponed the canvass vote until they heard from election officials again about concerns over the certification of ballot tabulators, despite election officials' repeated assurances that the equipment is properly approved.
The state elections director, Kori Lorick, wrote in a letter last week that Hobbs was required by law to approve the statewide canvass by next week and that if Cochise county's votes were not received in time, they would be excluded.
That would threaten to flip the victor in at least two close races, a US House seat and state schools chief, from a Republican to a Democrat.
Hobbs' lawsuit requests that the Cochise County Superior Court issue an order requiring officials to certify the results by Thursday. Failure to certify them would undermine the county's voters will "and sow further confusion and doubt about the integrity of Arizona's election system," Hobbs' lawyers wrote.
“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, said in an email.
Democratic election attorney Marc Elias also pledged, via Twitter, to sue the county.