Arizona county certifies election after judge’s order

Dec 1, 2022, 2:45 PM | Updated: Dec 2, 2022, 8:54 am
FILE - Democratic Arizona Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs speaks at a victory rally, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022,...

FILE - Democratic Arizona Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs speaks at a victory rally, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, in Phoenix. An Arizona judge on Thursday, Dec. 1, ordered Cochise County officials to certify the midterm election results by the end of the day. Hobbs filed suit Monday, as did a local voter and a group of retirees, arguing the supervisors are required by law certify the election, a process formally known as a canvass. Hobbs says she is required to hold the statewide certification on Dec. 5 and by law can delay it only until Dec. 8. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX (AP) — A rural Arizona county certified its midterm election results on Thursday, following the orders of a judge who ruled that Republican supervisors broke the law when they refused to sign off on the vote count by this week’s deadline.

Two Republicans on Cochise County’s three-member board of supervisors balked for weeks about certifying the election, even as the deadline passed on Monday. They did not cite any problems with the election results. Rather, they say they weren’t satisfied that the machines used to tabulate ballots were properly certified for use in elections, though state and federal election officials have said they were.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbsfiled suit Monday, as did a local voter and a group of retirees, asking a judge to force the supervisors to certify the election, a process formally known as a canvass. Hobbs said she is required to hold the statewide certification on Dec. 5 and by law can delay it only until Dec. 8.

At the end of a hearing Thursday, Judge Casey McGinley ordered the supervisors to convene within 90 minutes and to approve the election canvass by the end of the day.

“I am not ashamed of anything I did,” said Supervisor Peggy Judd, one of the two Republicans who twice blocked certification. “And today I feel I must, because of a 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.”

The board’s other Republican, Tom Crosby, skipped the meeting.

Two hours earlier, Supervisor Ann English, the board’s lone Democrat, urged the judge to order the board to immediately certify the election and not wait another day. She said Crosby is trying to stage a “smackdown between the secretary of state and the election deniers” at a meeting scheduled for Friday.

“I think it’s a circus that doesn’t need to have to happen,” English said. “So I’ve had enough. I think the public’s had enough. So I’m asking for a swift resolution of this if that’s possible.”

The vote allows the statewide certification to go forward as scheduled on Monday.

Hobbs, a Democrat who was elected governor in November’s election, had warned that she may have to certify statewide results without numbers from Cochise County if they aren’t received in time, an outcome that could have tipped the balance of several close races. The county’s 47,000 votes went overwhelmingly to Republicans.

The board members represented themselves in court after struggling to find someone willing to take the cases. The elected county attorney, who normally represents the board in legal disputes, refused to handle the cases, saying the supervisors acted illegally. The board voted hours before the hearing to hire a Phoenix-area attorney, but he was not able to get up to speed before the hearing and did not inform the court he was representing the supervisors.

Days before the Nov. 8 election, the Republican supervisors abandoned plans to hand count all ballots, which the court said would be illegal, but demanded last week that the secretary of state prove vote-counting machines were legally certified before they would approve the election results. On Monday, they said they wanted to hear again about those concerns before taking a vote on certification. A meeting is scheduled for that purpose on Friday.

There are two companies that are accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to conduct testing and certification of voting equipment, such as the electronic tabulators used in Arizona to read and count ballots.

Conspiracy theories surrounding this process surfaced in early 2021, focused on what appeared to be an outdated accreditation certificate for one of the companies that was posted online. Federal officials investigated and reported that an administrative error had resulted in the agency failing to reissue an updated certificate as the company remained in good standing and underwent audits in 2018 and in early 2021.

Officials also noted federal law dictates the only way a testing company can lose certification is for the commission to revoke it, which did not occur.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Phoenix sanctioned lawyers who represented Kari Lake and Mark Finchem, the defeated Republican candidates for governor and secretary of state, respectively, in a lawsuit seeking to require hand counting of all ballots.

Judge John Tuchi, a Barack Obama appointee, agreed with lawyers for Maricopa County, who argued the lawsuit was based on frivolous information, and ordered the lawyers to pay the county’s legal fees.

The lawyers “made false, misleading, and unsupported factual assertions” in their lawsuit, Tuchi wrote. He said the court will not condone lawyers “furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust” in the democratic process.

The lawyers for Lake and Finchem, including well-known Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press. They told the court that their claims were “legally sound and supported by strong evidence.”

____

This story corrects a previous version that said Mark Finchem was the Republican candidate for attorney general. He was the candidate for secretary of state.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Sri Lankan president Ranil Wickremesinghe, left, arrives at the parliament to deliver his policy sp...
Associated Press

Sri Lankan leader appeals for patience amid economic crisis

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka’s president on Wednesday appealed for patience amid the country’s worst economic crisis but promised brighter times ahead. President Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a policy speech after inaugurating a new parliamentary session that he had been forced to make unpopular decisions to salvage the country’s finances, including by implementing […]
4 hours ago
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses a media conference after the EU-Ukraine summit in...
Associated Press

Zelenskyy to visit UK for first time since Russia’s invasion

LONDON (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will visit Britain on Wednesday, his first trip to the U.K. since Russia’s invasion began nearly a year ago and only his second confirmed journey outside Ukraine during the war. The British government says Zelenskyy will hold talks with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, address Parliament and meet with […]
4 hours ago
Currency traders pass by the screens showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI), left, a...
Associated Press

Asian shares mixed after Wall St gains on Fed chair comments

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mixed in Asia on Wednesday after stocks rallied on Wall Street following comments by the chair of the Federal Reserve signaling that last week’s stunningly strong jobs report won’t by itself sway its stance on interest rates hikes. Hong Kong, Sydney and Seoul rose while Tokyo and Shanghai declined. U.S. […]
4 hours ago
Characters from The Simpsons pose before the premiere of "The Simpsons Movie", Springfield, Vermont...
Associated Press

Disney cuts Simpsons ‘forced labor’ episode in Hong Kong

HONG KONG (AP) — Walt Disney Co. has removed an episode from cartoon series The Simpsons that included a reference to “forced labor camps” in China from its streaming service in Hong Kong. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment about why the episode, “One Angry Lisa” from The Simpsons’ 34th […]
4 hours ago
FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2020, file photo, the Olympic rings are reinstalled after it was taken down ...
Associated Press

Tokyo Olympic official, 3 others held in bid-rigging probe

TOKYO (AP) — A senior official with the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee and three company executives were arrested Wednesday in an ongoing bid-rigging scandal related to the Games. Yasuo Mori, the Olympic official, was arrested along with Koji Henmi, who headed the sports division at Japanese advertising giant Dentsu. Two other business executives were also […]
4 hours ago
FILE - Power grid stand against the residential and office buildings in Beijing as the capital of C...
Associated Press

IEA: Asia set to use half of world’s electricity by 2025

BERLIN (AP) — Asia will for the first time use half of the world’s electricity by 2025, even as Africa continues to consume far less than its share of the global population, according to a new forecast released Wednesday by the International Energy Agency. Much of Asia’s electricity use will be in China, a nation […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Arizona county certifies election after judge’s order