- The Board of Supervisors of Cochise County, Arizona, is refusing to certify the results of its elections where Democratic candidates lead the race, potentially threatening a GOP House seat win.
- Democratic operatives and the Arizona Secretary of State have vowed to sue the county to certify its results should it fail to do so before the state’s legal deadline.
- The county’s votes could be “excluded” from the final tally, leading to elections for a U.S. House seat and the state’s top education official, previously won by Republicans, being won by Democrats.
A county in Arizona is refusing to certify the results of its elections following Democratic statewide candidates winning in the state, which could flip a House seat won by a Republican to a Democratic win, according to the Associated Press.
The Board of Supervisors of Cochise County, Arizona, bordering Mexico and the U.S. state of New Mexico in Arizona’s Southeast, voted to not certify the official tally of votes in the general elections of Nov. 8, which saw Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona reelected to a full term and Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs elected the next Governor of Arizona.
A meeting of the board was held on Monday via Zoom, with the only agenda item being a motion to verify the results. In a voice vote, it received zero votes in favor and two votes against, with the Democratic chair not voting, resulting in an acclaimed failure among the three-member board.
While Republican senatorial candidate Blake Masters has conceded to Kelly, Lake has not conceded to Hobbs and is currently suing the Board of Supervisors of Maricopa County for records, seeking to contest the election. Lake’s challenge to the results has been supported by former President Donald Trump.
The two Republican members of the county’s board, who outnumber the Democratic chair, have sought to hear from experts, including Hobbs, regarding the “accreditation of voting machines,” with the members arguing that the machines used to accept ballots were not properly certified to do so under state law, as stated by members of the public in a meeting of the board on Nov. 18, per the AP.
The county’s non-certification comes on the day of Monday’s deadline for all counties to certify their results. Their announcement was met with criticism from Democrats, who announced they would sue the county to compel its verification.
“The only presentation Cochise is going to get is in a courtroom,” tweeted Marc Elias, the founder of Democracy Docket and a known Democratic election attorney, indicating that he would sue Cochise County. Meanwhile, Hobbs, in her capacity as Secretary of State, has previously said she would sue the county to affirm her win.
The Board has “failed to uphold their responsibility for Cochise voters,” wrote Sophia Solis, a spokeswoman for Hobbs, in an email to the AP.
Should the county not certify its votes, Arizona State Elections Director Kori Lorick has said that its votes may be excluded. If that happens, the results of two elections in the state – for the U.S. Representative for Arizona’s 6th Congressional District and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, who oversees the state schooling system – will change, enabling Democrats to win the U.S. House race and Superintendent’s race, while leaving statewide races for governor and senator unchanged.
Republican candidate Juan Ciscomani, a former advisor to outgoing Republican Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, defeated Democratic former State Sen. Kristen Engel in the area’s congressional race by a margin of 1.4% or 5,232 votes. If Cochise County’s 39,650 votes are excluded, a majority of them being in Ciscomani’s favor, it would give Engel a slim plurality.
Meanwhile, in the Superintendent’s race, Republican candidate Tom Horne defeated Democratic incumbent Kathy Hoffman by a margin of less than 1% of the vote. Excluding Cochise’s votes would enable Hoffman to win a second term after previously facing a recall attempt.
The Board, Ciscomani and Horne did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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