GOP county's refusal to certify election results could flip result of Arizona House seat
Republican Juan Ciscomani is the projected winner for Arizona's 6th Congressional District. Despite being regarded as a rising star in his party, however, he could lose his seat to Democrat Kirsten Engel because the GOP-controlled supervisors of Cochise County voted on Monday to delay the certification of the results from the midterm elections despite the Nov. 28 deadline and without evidence of problems with the local counts.
The county's decision risks excluding close to 47,000 Arizonans' votes and could eliminate the 38,706 votes cast for Ciscomani, per the county's report logs.
Arizona Secretary of State and Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs filed a lawsuit in the Cochise County Superior Court against the county on Monday, asking the court to compel Cochise County to certify its results.
Hobbs argued in the lawsuit that the county is not only violating state law but also will "potentially disenfranchise the voters of Cochise County."
If the court does not intervene, "the Secretary will have no choice but to complete the statewide canvass by Dec. 8 without Cochise County's votes included."
"Thus, the Board's inaction not only violates the plain language of the statute, but undermines a basic tenet of free and fair elections in this state: ensuring that every Arizonan's voice is heard," the lawsuit said.
Cochise County Supervisor Ann English, the lone Democrat on the board, said, "There is no reason for us to delay," per NPR. However, she was outvoted by GOP Supervisors Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd.
The Associated Press called the race with Ciscomani receiving 50.7% of the votes, a narrow win over Engel with 49.3%. However, statewide results without Cochise County's numbers would reportedly flip the seat in favor of Engel . A state schools chief seat would also flip for the Democrats.
Republicans experienced disappointing results from the midterm elections, particularly in Arizona. Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, lost to Hobbs . Blake Masters, a Republican candidate for Arizona's Senate race, also failed to achieve victory against incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ).
Arizona has been the target of election fraud claims since 2020, particularly in Maricopa County, the state's largest county. Voter tabulation machine malfunctions and other problems plagued Maricopa County during the 2022 midterm elections, too, causing Lake and other Republicans to attack the county for negligence and voter fraud.
In a lawsuit filed last week, Lake asked the Arizona Superior Court to require officials to produce records on how they conducted the midterm elections. Maricopa County officials, led by Republican Bill Gates, voted unanimously to approve the county's results on Monday.