Hobbs sues to force Cochise County to certify the 2022 election

By Ben Giles
Associated Press
Published: Monday, November 28, 2022 - 8:34pm
Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2022 - 8:24am

Republican officials in a rural Arizona county refused Monday to certify the 2022 election despite no evidence of anything wrong with the count, a decision that was quickly challenged in court by the state's top election official.

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. 

“The statute’s plain language makes clear that this duty is not discretionary. The board was thus required to meet and canvass the election by Nov. 28 — but the board has failed to take this required action,” attorneys wrote in a lawsuit filed Monday evening.

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.

The two Republican county supervisors delayed the canvass vote until Friday, when they want to hear once more about concerns over the certification of ballot tabulators, though election officials have repeatedly said the equipment is properly approved.

Attorneys for Hobbs warn that inaction by Cochise County threatens to disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters. Hobbs must complete a statewide canvass of the election by no later than Dec. 8 with or without Cochise County’s own certified results. More than 47,000 county voters cast ballots earlier this month.

Continued inaction by Cochise County “undermines a basic tenet of free and fair elections in this state: ensuring that every Arizonans’ voice is heard,” Hobbs’ attorneys wrote.

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