Cochise County votes to give Republican recorder election duties through 2024

Feb 28, 2023, 5:30 PM | Updated: Mar 1, 2023, 5:27 am

FILE - Cochise County Recorder David Stevens poses for a portrait inside his office in Bisbee, Ariz...

FILE - Cochise County Recorder David Stevens poses for a portrait inside his office in Bisbee, Ariz., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. A rural Arizona county board that was embroiled in 2022 over voting machine conspiracies voted 2-1 along party lines Tuesday, Feb. 28, to give responsibility for elections through 2024 to Stevens, the county's elected Republican recorder, a move the state Attorney General's office suggested may be illegal. (AP Photo/Alberto Mariani, File)

(AP Photo/Alberto Mariani, File)

BISBEE, Ariz. (AP) — A rural Arizona county board that was embroiled last year in voting machine conspiracies voted Tuesday to give responsibility for elections through 2024 to the county’s elected Republican recorder, a move the state attorney general’s office suggested may be illegal.

The two Republicans on the three-member Cochise County Board of Supervisors backed the agreement giving administrative election duties to county Recorder David Stevens, another Republican. Democrat Ann English voted against it, saying the legality of the measure needed to be studied.

“I hope we don’t regret it,” English said.

Judd said she felt comfortable moving ahead, and noted that the board could abandon the agreement if things didn’t work out.

“I just don’t want to put it off,” she said.

One of the two Republicans who voted in favor of the measure was Tom Crosby, who is the subject of a recall effort.

English said that in light of the caution from the attorney general’s office, “I think we are acting in an inappropriate and ill-advised way.”

Stevens would replace Lisa Marra, who was the country’s respected elections director before she recently resigned from the nonpartisan position after five years. Marra had objected to unsuccessful efforts by Republicans on the board to conduct a full hand count of last year’s mid-term vote amid conspiracies that ballot tabulators were illegal or faulty.

Arizona’s Solicitor Joshua Bendor sent a letter to Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre on Monday, warning that he had “serious questions about the legality of the Board’s intended course of action.” He noted that there was nothing in state statutes to allow a county board to give its recorder full administrative responsibility for elections.

In Arizona, elected recorders such as Stevens already play a part in elections. They register voters, distribute mail ballots and verify signatures on the ones sent back, while the nonpartisan election director handles the counting.

Stevens is friends with former GOP state Rep. Mark Finchem, who attended former President Donald Trump’s rally in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021, that preceded the Capitol riot, and who ran unsuccessfully last year for secretary of state, Arizona’s top election post. Finchem said he would not have certified President Joe Biden’s 2020 win in Arizona.

Stevens recently joined a nonprofit founded by Finchem that he says focuses on election integrity.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Traffic backed up near Quartzsite...

Eastbound I-10 closed near Arizona-California border due to fiery crash

Eastbound Interstate 10 near the Arizona-California border was closed after a fiery crash Tuesday morning, authorities said.

34 minutes ago

Tiana Hodges mugshot...

Woman arrested in fatal Phoenix apartment complex shooting

A woman was arrested Monday for allegedly fatally shooting a man at an apartment complex in Phoenix, authorities said. 

1 hour ago

Middle class is shrinking, lower case is growing, Valley economist says...

Middle-class Americans may not be able to afford a home, Valley economist says

Why is the middle class shrinking? Is the U.S. economy growing? Valley economist Jim Rounds answered these questions on Monday.

3 hours ago

Peoria Arts and Culture Festival 2024...

Peoria Arts and Cultural Festival to bring food, games, activities and more this weekend

Celebrate art, culture, food, games and music this weekend at the family-friendly Peoria Arts and Cultural Festival.

3 hours ago

Side by side image of teacher and his quarters....

Avondale elementary school teacher wins Bruce and Gaydos’ teacher tribute

A West Valley elementary school teacher was named KTAR News 92.3 FM's Outspoken with Bruce and Gaydos' Pay Tribute to a Teacher winner for January.

3 hours ago

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) leaves a House Republican conference meeting on Capitol Hill on April 27, ...

Kevin Stone

Rep. Debbie Lesko excited about her future in Arizona, frustrated with Washington politics

U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesko said she’s excited about the next chapter of her Arizona political career while expressing frustration about her tenure in Washington.

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Cochise County votes to give Republican recorder election duties through 2024