Two Arizona counties throwing 2022 election process into doubt

KOLD News 6-6:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 10:08 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Both Cochise and Mojave counties, both Republican strongholds, have thrown the Arizona election process in doubt.

Neither county has certified the 2022 general election results charging there were irregularities in Maricopa County.

“I believe this election was conducted within the legal requirements of all state and federal laws and I believe it should be certified by the board of supervisors,” Cochise County Elections Director Lisa Marra told the board last week.

But the board decided to wait until the last day they could legally canvass the election, Nov. 28. Mojave County supervisors said its election was fair and run well but decided to stand in solidarity with Cochise County.

“I think up to the point of where they are forced to certify the election, which is exactly what will happen, and was admitted to in a board meeting, that this is just theater,” said Arizona Highground CEO Chuck Coughlin. “They will certify the election.”

But what happens if they don’t, which they are required do legally.

“Well there are two options,” said Ron Barber, of the Arizona Democracy Resilience Project. “One is to basically not count the votes, basically disenfranchising thousands of people and the other is that the Secretary of State will use some kind of legal authority to certify the votes.”

It’s not likely the counties will disenfranchise their voters, both are red states.

“But if it’s theater, it can cause damage to the process. If the Secretary of State needs to take legal action, that would be done at the behest of Governor-Elect Katie Hobbs, likely breeding a myriad of conspiracy theories.

“When it reaches that level and it has to be certified at that level, there will be even more statements that you can’t trust the result,” Barber said. “Because obviously they’ll say Hobbs wanted to win and she found a way to win it.”

Losing gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has been fanning the flames of a botched election but her case got a bit more difficult when outgoing Governor Doug Ducey congratulated Hobbs on her victory and promised an orderly transition.

Hobb’s office also sent a letter to Cochise County officials warning them if they did not certify by the 28th, the state would take legal action against them.

Meantime, many in the Republican party have become disenchanted with the antics of the election deniers.

“Always our better angels have prevailed and they will prevail again,” Coughlin said. “This is bad behavior and this is unfortunately what we come to see more and more of and over time we’ll see less and less of it.”