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Despite Ongoing Election Challenges, a Rural Arizona County Delayed Certifying the Midterm Results
As a result of Monday’s delay in certification of the midterm elections in Arizona, the secretary of state’s office in that state has filed a lawsuit against the county for failing to certify the results by the required time. The Cochise County Board of Supervisors’ Republican majority delayed certification until Friday by a 2-1 vote, claiming issues with the voting equipment.
Cochise’s decision may jeopardize the votes of some 47,000 county residents, and if those votes go uncounted, may produce confusion in the election, as Monday was the deadline for all 15 Arizona counties to certify their results.
Failure to certify the election results breaches state law and could “possibly disenfranchise” the county’s voters, according to the complaint filed by the office of Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who will be the state’s next governor.
The managers have been contacted by CNN for comment. Kari Lake criticizes election workers. Listen to the election chief for the county of Arizona. Even though many of the candidates who repeated former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election were defeated in November, the standoff between Cochise County officials and the Arizona secretary of state’s office serves as an example of how election misinformation is continuing to fuel controversy about the 2022 results in some areas of the country.
After issues with printers at voting locations on Election Day resulted in long lines at about a third of the county’s voting locations, a crowd of grassroots activists showed up at a special meeting of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to loudly protest that county’s election administration procedures during a public comment portion of the meeting.
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The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office claimed that “no voter was disenfranchised because of the difficulty the county faced with certain of its printers” in a recent letter to the state attorney general’s office, which had previously demanded an explanation of the issues.
There has been a flood of petitions calling for recounts in Pennsylvania, where counties also had a Monday deadline to certify the results of the general election. Additionally, according to numerous media sources, decision-makers in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County were unable to agree on whether or not to certify the results on Monday.
CNN sent questions to local election officials on Monday afternoon, but they did not respond. The Pennsylvania Department of State stated in a statement to CNN that it has contacted Luzerne representatives “to inquire about the board’s decision and its intended next measures.”
Due to a lack of paper on election day in Luzerne County, in-person voting was postponed by court order. Another crucial battleground state, Arizona, has long been the center of electoral sabotage. Both GOP candidates for secretary of state and governor, Kari Lake and Mark Finchem, who supported Trump’s false statements about 2020, have refused to relinquish their races and are instead casting doubt on the outcome of this year’s election.
Last Monday, Lake’s campaign filed a lawsuit asking Maricopa County’s elections department for more information regarding the ratio of voters who showed up at voting stations to those who cast ballots. And last week, Abe Hamadeh, a Republican running for attorney general in Arizona who, like Lake and Finchem, had Trump’s support, filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County’s state superior court disputing the results of the election due to what the suit claims were mistakes in the election’s administration.
As their campaign moves toward a recount, Hamadeh is down by 510 votes to Democratic challenger Kris Mayes. However, the lawsuit requests that the court declare Hamadeh the victor and issue an injunction to stop the Arizona secretary of state from certifying Mayes as the winner. As soon as the state’s votes are certified, a recount cannot start.
The turmoil surrounding the certification of the votes and the unwillingness of losing candidates to concede are parts of an “infrastructure of election denial” that has been accumulating in Arizona since the 2020 election, according to Alex Gulotta, director of All Voting is Local in Arizona.
“Those people will keep looking for areas where their efforts to sabotage our elections would be successful. They won’t give up, Gulotta declared. A large number of the election deniers we had were not elected. However, given the candidates, their inability to accept defeat “was unavoidable in Arizona, at least in this cycle.” These are bad losers, he continued. They predicted they would lose badly from the start.
Republican members of the Cochise County Board of Supervisors pushed for the postponement, alleging issues with the voting equipment. The Democratic Party’s chairperson, Ann English, said there was “no reason for us to delay.”
On October 9, 2022, in Mesa, Arizona, Republican candidate for governor of Arizona Kari Lake participates at a political rally attended by former U.S. President Donald Trump. Prior to the November 8 midterm elections, Trump was campaigning for GOP candidates in Arizona.
Election skepticism is still prevalent in Arizona despite election deniers’ defeat. Republicans Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd voted to postpone approving the results, citing complaints that the machines were not properly verified. The Republican-controlled board delayed certification for a second time on Monday.
And it represented the newest attempt by Republicans on the board to voice their opposition to voting machines. They faced up against Cochise’s election director and the county attorney earlier this month when they attempted to mount a thorough hand count audit of the midterm results. Both parties cautioned that the ploy might be illegal.
The Republican majority’s worries about the vote-counting devices, according to state election authorities, are based on disproved conspiracies. As stated by Hobbs in the complaint filed on Monday, the state’s election director Kori Lorick has acknowledged in writing that the voting equipment had been examined and certified. She is requesting that the board certify the results by Thursday through the court.
For statewide certification, a preliminary deadline of December 5 had been established. State law does permit a small delay, according to Hobbs’ attorneys, if her office has not yet received a county’s results, but not beyond December 8 — or 30 days after the election.
Her attorneys continued, “Without this Court’s intervention, the Secretary will be forced to complete the statewide canvass by December 8 without Cochise County’s votes included.” On November 8, 2022, voting booths may be seen at the Glass Elementary School polling place in Eagle Pass, Texas.
How election authorities managed to avoid mayhem at the polls Tuesday. The election for state superintendent and a congressional campaign where Republican Juan Ciscomani has already been predicted to win by CNN and other outlets may both go to Democrats if votes from this Republican stronghold somehow went uncounted.
Two former Maricopa County election officials stated in a recent opinion article published in The Arizona Republic that it was likely the courts would intervene and order Cochise to certify the results. But Tammy Patrick, a Democrat and the former federal compliance officer for Maricopa County, and Republican Helen Purcell cautioned that “a Republican-controlled board of supervisors could end up disenfranchising their own voters and handing Democrats even more victories in the midterms.”