Hobbs’ office wants Brnovich to investigate Cochise County GOP officials
PHOENIX – The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office is asking Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate whether Republican Cochise County officials broke the law by delaying their general election canvass beyond the state-mandated deadline.
The request was made Friday in a letter from Kori Lorick, Arizona elections director under Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
“This blatant act of defying Arizona’s election laws risks establishing a dangerous precedent that we must discourage,” the letter says.
“I ask that you investigate this conduct and take all necessary action to hold these public officers accountable.”
A spokesperson for Brnovich said the letter had not been officially received as of Friday afternoon and declined further comment.
Two Republicans on Cochise County’s three-member board of supervisors, Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd, balked for weeks about certifying the Nov. 8 election.
State law requires county boards to complete their canvass, the formal process of certifying the election, within 20 days of the election, making Monday the deadline. Cochise was the only county to miss the deadline for what typically is a routine process.
The Republican supervisors 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.
The board finally conducted the canvass on Thursday after a judged ordered them to do so. Even then, Crosby skipped the meeting, leaving Judd and Democrat Ann English to certify the results by a 2-0 vote.
The vote allows the statewide certification to go forward as scheduled on Monday.
“Supervisors Crosby and Judd’s actions not only demonstrate a complete disregard for the law but also jeopardize Arizona’s democracy,” Lorick’s letter says.
“Had a court not intervened, the failure of these two Supervisors to uphold their duty would have disenfranchised thousands of Cochise County voters.”
The letter suggests that Crosby and Judd may have committed a class 6 felony as well as misdemeanor offenses by failing to perform their state-mandated duties.
Brnovich, a Republican, will be in office only for another month. If a recount doesn’t change the results in the race to succeed him, Democrat Kris Mayes will assume the role in January.
Hobbs, meanwhile, will move from her secretary of state position to become Arizona’s first Democratic governor since 2009.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.