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Republican-led Arizona county sued over election certification delay

FILE – An election worker verifies a ballot on a screen inside the Maricopa County Recorders Office, Nov. 10, 2022, in Phoenix. Six Arizona counties will decide Monday, Nov. 28, whether to certify 2022 election results. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

The Republican-controlled Cochise County in Arizona is now facing a lawsuit after it voted to delay the certification of its election canvass past the statewide Monday deadline.

A lawsuit, which was widely expected after the vote, filed on behalf of a local voter and the Arizona Alliance of Retired Americans, knocks the three-member Cochise County Board of Supervisors for a “long, baseless effort to call into question the results of the 2022 general election and evade Arizona law” and argues the body doesn’t have the authority to hold up the election results.

The board voted 2-1 against the certification, citing concerns about voting machines that had been spouted by a three conspiracy theorists who claimed they were not properly accredited.

The lawsuit calls the board’s theories about the election equipment “nothing more than vague and unsubstantiated allegations that the county’s electronic voting machines could not be trusted” in the wake of conspiracies surrounding the 2020 presidential election.

The lawsuit contends that the Cochise County supervisors are violating Arizona law by shirking the deadline. The plaintiffs are seeking to compel the county to comply with the voting process and canvass their results.

The Arizona Alliance of Retired Americans had sent a warning to the board last week — after it first voted to postpone the canvass to Monday, the final day to submit results — promising to take legal action if “if the Board refuses to perform its mandatory statutory duty to accept and canvass the election results” on time. 

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), who ran for election this year herself and is projected to be the state’s next governor, also wrote to urge the board in her current role to certify the results on schedule.

“Bad faith attempts to derail Arizona’s democracy will not go unaddressed. If the Board refuses to certify the canvass by November 28, the Secretary will take all available legal action, including filing a special action to compel the Board’s compliance,” Hobbs said.

But Hobbs also said the state will move forward with the election even without Cochise County’s results. 

“Your refusal to certify will only serve to disenfranchise Cochise County voters,” the secretary of state told the board members.

Tags 2022 midterms Arizona Arizona elections Board of Supervisors Cochise County elections Katie Hobbs midterms

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