COCHISE COUNTY, Ariz. - The Arizona Secretary of State's office is calling for an investigation and "appropriate enforcement action" over two Cochise County supervisors who refused to certify results for the 2022 election.
The office sent a memo to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Dec. 2, claiming that supervisors Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd potentially violated state law for not certifying the results by the Nov. 28 deadline.
"Supervisors Crosby and Judd knew they had a statutory requirement to canvass the election by November 28, but instead chose to act in violation of the law, putting false election narratives ahead of Cochise County’s voters," wrote Kori Lorick, state elections director in the memo. "This blatant act of defying Arizona’s election laws risks establishing a dangerous precedent that we must discourage."
The refusal to certify by the rural southeastern Arizona county comes amid pressure from prominent Republicans to reject results showing Democrats winning top races.
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who narrowly won the race for governor, asked a judge to order county officials to canvass the election, which she said is an obligation under Arizona law. Lawyers representing a Cochise County voter and a group of retirees filed a similar lawsuit Monday, the deadline for counties to approve the official tally of votes, known as the canvass.
On Dec. 1, a judge ordered the county to certify the results by 5 p.m. that day.
A lawyer representing Hobbs, Andy Gaona, said in court Thursday that scheduling conflicts may make it impossible to get the secretary of state, governor, attorney general and chief justice into one room for the statewide certification, as required by law, if it’s delayed past Monday.
Hobbs, a Democrat who was elected governor in November’s election, has warned that she may have to certify results without numbers from Cochise County if they aren’t received in time, an outcome that could tip the balance of several close races. The county’s 47,000 votes went overwhelmingly to Republicans.
Cochise County certified the election results just before 4 p.m.
"Had a court not intervened, the failure of these two Supervisors to uphold their duty would have disenfranchised thousands of Cochise County voters," Lorick wrote in the memo. "This blatant act of defying Arizona’s election laws risks establishing a dangerous precedent that we must discourage."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.