An Arizona county’s three-person board of supervisors certified the county election results Thursday after a court order and after the board’s certification delay sparked fears that the uncertified results could flip a Republican-won congressional seat.
Pima County Superior Court Judge Casey McGinley ordered the Cochise County board, comprising two Republicans and one Democrat, to convene on Thursday and certify the results by 5:00 p.m. local time, per the Arizona Republic.
The order came after the two Republicans on the board expressed concerns about whether ballot tabulation machines were legal to use and proceeded to delay certification.
“Our small counties, we’re just sick and tired of getting kicked around and not being respected,” one of the Republicans, Peggy Judd, told the New York Times on November 28, the day the certification was due.
Judd and the Democrat board member met Thursday and voted 2–0 to certify the results. The other Republican member, Tom Crosby, did not attend the meeting, the Arizona Republic reported.
Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs (D), the current secretary of state, had threatened to certify the state results, which must be done by December 8, without including Cochise County’s votes, which would have theoretically changed the results of the Sixth Congressional District race.
Republican Juan Ciscomani won the district by a narrow margin, but Hobbs’ threat and media attention spurred fears that the seat could flip to Democrats, an outcome that a Washington Post analysis found would be highly unlikely because of inevitable lawsuits.
Judd indicated, according to the Times, that the concern raised about the voting machines was more so a way for her small, solid red county to protest Maricopa County’s election process.
“It’s the only thing we have to stand on,” Judd told the Times.
Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county, was rife with concerns about the election process this year, partly because many of the county’s polling stations experienced printer problems on Election Day, which were, according to election officials, resolved by the time polls closed.
That Maricopa officials did not finish counting ballots until more than a week after Election Day exacerbated existing frustrations with the county, which first began in 2020 in the race between then-President Donald Trump and then-candidate Joe Biden.
Republican Kari Lake, whom Democrats frequently deride as an “election denier,” narrowly lost in the state’s high-profile gubernatorial race against Hobbs after waiting nearly a week after Election Day for results in Maricopa to trickle in.
Lake, who vowed during her campaign to strengthen confidence among those troubled by Arizona’s election process, tore into Maricopa, specifically, after the race.
Lake called the county “the poster child for broken, botched elections” and said she is “building a strong legal case” that she plans to unveil in the coming days to challenge Arizona’s election.
Lake said her election concerns include Maricopa’s printer issues and long lines at polling places, as well as perceived conflicts of interest with those managing the state’s election.