The one-sidedness of election investigations in Arizona once again saw Secretary of State Katie Hobbs poised to benefit as her office demanded action be taken against the lone holdouts who had resisted pressure to certify the questionably-run midterms in the Democratic gubernatorial candidate’s favor.
Without acknowledging a blatant conflict of interest, Hobbs’ office had filed a lawsuit Monday against the Cochise County Board of Supervisors to compel the two Republicans of the three-member board to proceed with their statutory responsibility and certify her the winner of Republican opponent Kari Lake. As previously reported, board members were being threatened with possible felony charges for continuing to hold out against state law that demands certification within 20 days of the election.
Despite Supervisor Peggy Judd succumbing to the pressure and joining Democratic Supervisor Ann English in certifying the election results Thursday while the other Republican, Tom Crosby was said to have skipped the meeting, Arizona State Elections Director Kori Lorick emailed Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre Friday demanding an investigation be opened against the offending members of the board.
“I am writing today to urge you to investigate and take appropriate enforcement action against potential violations of Arizona law committed by Cochise County Board of Supervisors Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd for knowingly refusing to comply with Arizona’s law that required them to canvass Cochise County’s 2022 General Election by November 28,” she wrote. “Only after a court ordered the Board of Supervisors to canvass this election, did Supervisor Judd comply, and even then, Supervisor Crosby continued to defy his statutory responsibility as well as the court order.”
“Had a court not intervened, the failure of these two supervisors to uphold their duty would have disenfranchised thousands of Cochise County voters,” Lorick concluded in part. “This blatant act of defying Arizona’s election laws risks establishing a dangerous precedent that we must discourage.”
Judd expressed of her initial holdout, “I am not ashamed of anything I did. And today I feel I must, because of court ruling and because of my own health and situations that are going on in our life, I feel like I must follow what the judge did today.”
As the last county left in the Grand Canyon State to certify, upon the court ordering the board to certify, Hobbs tweeted a claim that this was a victory for democracy. “Today’s court decision was a win for Arizona’s democracy and ensures that all Arizonans will have their votes counted. Cochise County has been ordered to canvass today, and the state certification of the 2022 General Election will proceed as scheduled on Monday.”
Today’s court decision was a win for Arizona’s democracy and ensures that all Arizonans will have their votes counted. Cochise County has been ordered to canvass today, and the state certification of the 2022 General Election will proceed as scheduled on Monday.
— Secretary Katie Hobbs (@SecretaryHobbs) December 1, 2022
Ron Gould, chairman of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors, had caved to pressure before the board from Cochise County and said, “I found out today that I have no choice but to vote aye, or I’ll be arrested and charged with a felony. I don’t think that that is what our founders had in mind when they chose a democratic process to elect their leaders, or our form of self-government and I find that very disheartening.”
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