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Arizona County Refuses to Back Down, Outright Rejects Certification Deadline with 47k Votes

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The Board of Supervisors for Cochise County in southeast Arizona voted to table certification of the 2022 general election until Friday missing a Monday deadline.

Voters in Cochise — which includes the county seat of Bisbee and the popular tourist town of Tombstone — cast approximately 47,000 ballots in the Nov. 8 election.

The board plans to take up certification of the election again on Friday after hearing arguments for and against the decision.

The board’s chair, Democrat Ann English, said Monday, “There is no reason for us to delay” certifying the election, but Republican supervisors, Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd voted her down, NPR reported.

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Prior to the election, the board had voted to conduct a full hand count audit of the ballots over concerns about the accuracy and security of tabulation machines.

Secretary of State and then-Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs threatened to sue the county if it conducted a full hand count.

“The Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans, a civil rights group, and a Cochise County resident sued to block the expanded audit, arguing it was illegal,” the AZ Mirror reported.

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“Lawyers from Elias Law — the firm founded by Marc Elias, who typically represents Democrats and often litigates voting rights cases — argued for the plaintiffs,” the news outlet noted.

On the Monday before the Nov. 8 election, a judge ruled that the county could not conduct its expanded audit of the election, saying that state law requires at least 2 percent of the voting precincts be randomly selected.

“By common definition, a selection of precincts is not random if all precincts are chosen,” Pima County Superior Court Judge Casey McGinley wrote.

Elias tweeted Monday that his firm has sued Cochise County again over its board’s decision not to certify the election.

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The secretary of state’s office plans to file a lawsuit as well, spokeswoman Sophia Solis said in an email to NPR.

The move by the Cochise board came as the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to certify its election, despite widespread vote tabulator and printers issues on Election Day leading to hours-long lines at multiple polling locations.

The Arizona attorney general’s office highlighted in a letter to the board last week that there were reports of ballots that were tabulated at local polling places being mixed with those that were not.

“This was not a perfect election,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates said. “But it was safe and secure. The votes have been counted accurately.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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