After much pandemonium, a Republican-controlled Arizona county has finally certified its midterm results, nearly a month after Election Day and only once a judge ordered it to.
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs sued Cochise County on Monday after the two Republican members of its supervisory board voted to delay certification of the votes, despite there being no evidence of voter fraud.
A judge ordered the board Thursday afternoon to certify the votes before the end of the day. “You will meet today,” Superior Court Judge Casey F. McGinley said. “You will canvass the election no later than 5 o’clock.”
Democratic Board Chair Ann English and Republican Supervisor Peggy Judd voted later Thursday to certify the results. The other supervisor, Republican Tom Crosby, did not show up.
Judd, who participated in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, made a big show of having been backed into a corner despite trying to stand up for the will of the people.
“I am not ashamed of anything I did,” she said during the vote. “Because of a court ruling, and because of my own health and situations … I feel like I must follow what the judge did today.”
She also said she felt that the government needs to “listen to the people more” and urged Americans to “keep fighting.
Except, in a mind-boggling twist, Cochise County voted overwhelmingly Republican during the midterms. MAGA gubernatorial contender Kari Lake won by 58.15 percent, far more than Hobbs’s 40.49 percent. Republican Juan Ciscomani was elected representative for Arizona’s 6th district by more than 5,000 votes—but if Cochise had failed to certify the votes, then all the votes for him would have been thrown out, flipping that race to his Democratic opponent.
By not certifying, Republicans had failed to listen to the people and put their own victories at risk.
Arizona has been plagued with election falsehoods since surprisingly going for Joe Biden in 2020, and the midterms were no exception: Early voting was rife with voter intimidation, and right-wing figures accused the state government of trying to rig the race for Democrats.
Lake and Mark Finchem, the unsuccessful GOP candidate for secretary of state, had sued Maricopa County earlier this year to demand votes be hand-counted. Federal Judge John Tuchi had dismissed their case in August, and on Thursday, he sanctioned their lawyers for “furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation about, and distrust in, the democratic process.”