COCHISE COUNTY, Ariz. — Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who narrowly won the race for Arizona's governor, asked a judge on Monday to order Cochise County officials to canvass the election, which she said is an obligation under Arizona law.
Monday was the deadline for the election to be certified in all counties in Arizona. Last week state election officials had said a lawsuit would be filed should the deadline not be met.
Republican officials in the rural Arizona county refused Monday to certify the 2022 election ahead of the deadline amid pressure from prominent Republicans to reject a vote count that had Democrats winning for U.S. Senate, governor and other statewide races.
Hobbs, as Secretary of State, is required to canvass all elections offices by the fourth Monday following the election.
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.
State Elections Director Kori Lorick wrote in a letter last week that Hobbs is required by law to approve the statewide canvass by next week and will have to exclude Cochise County's votes if they aren't received in time.
That would threaten to flip the victor in at least two close races — a U.S. House seat and state schools chief — from a Republican to a Democrat.
Hobbs' lawsuit asks the Cochise County Superior Court to order officials to certify by Thursday. Failing to certify would undermine the will of the county's voters “and sow further confusion and doubt about the integrity of Arizona's election system," lawyers for Hobbs wrote.
“The Board of Supervisors had all of the information they needed to certify this election and failed to uphold their responsibility for Cochise voters,” Sophia Solis, a spokeswoman for Hobbs, said in an email.
Arizona law requires county officials to approve the election canvass, and lawyers in several counties warned Republican supervisors they could face criminal charges for failing to carry out their obligations.
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