Arizona's Cochise County supervisors certify election after court loss

An Arizona election worker.
An Arizona election worker. Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images

An Arizona judge on Thursday ordered Cochise County's board of supervisors to certify the county's votes in the 2022 midterms by 5 p.m., and two of the three supervisors then met and did so. The third supervisor, Tom Crosby, skipped the court-ordered meeting and did not vote. Crosby and the other Republican on the board, Peggy Judd, had voted against canvassing the election before Monday's state-mandated deadline, while their Democratic colleague, Ann English, voted to certify both times.

Pima County Superior Court Judge Casey McGinley agreed with Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the Democratic governor-elect, that the supervisors in rural, heavily Republican Cochise County were "duty bound" to certify the results, given that no votes were missing from the county's totals. The board "exceeded its lawful authority in delaying the canvass for a reason that was not permitted by the statute," McGinley said.

Crosby and Judd, who fought unsuccessfully to hand-count all 47,000 ballots in the county, then demanded proof that the voting machines were properly certified, even after state and federal election officials said they were. Hobbs sued the supervisors after they failed to meet the deadline, as did a Cochise County voter and a group of retirees. Hobbs will now be able to certify the statewide election results on Dec. 5, as required by state law.

The elected Cochise County attorney, Brian McIntyre, would normally have represented the board of supervisors but refused to handle this case, saying the supervisors violated the law. An attorney in Phoenix the board hired hours before the vote wasn't prepared enough to appear in court, so the board members represented themselves on Thursday.

Crosby, calling in remotely, asked the judge to postpone the hearing. English asked Judge McGinley for "a swift resolution," explaining that that Crosby just wants to stage a public "smackdown between the secretary of state and the election deniers," and that's "a circus that doesn't need to have to happen." Judd said she is "not ashamed of anything I did" but felt she had to "follow what the judge" ordered "because of my own health and situations that are going on in our life." Judd and Crosby may still face state criminal charges, NPR reports.

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