Arizona county certifies election results after court order

A Republican-led Arizona county that missed a legal deadline for certifying the election ended up certifying its results Thursday shortly after a judge ordered officials there to take action.

Cochise County officials voted 2-0 to accept the Nov. 8 election results, allowing state certification to move forward Monday.

Ann English, the only Democrat on the three-member board of supervisors, and Vice Speaker Peggy Judd, a Republican, voted to approve the election results. Republican Party board member Tom Crosby was absent.

“I’m not ashamed of anything I did,” Judd said before the vote. Judd added that she felt compelled to act because of the judge’s order, but that she “doesn’t like to be threatened.”

Earlier this week, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs sued Cochise County after the two Republicans on the board voted to further delay certification of election results. The county previously postponed certification at a Nov. 18 meeting.

It was the only county in Arizona that missed the certification deadline.

Had the results not been tabulated in Cochise County, where just over 47,000 votes were cast, the House race in the 6th congressional district would have shifted in favor of the Democratic nominee. The certification ensures that Republican Juan Ciscomani will be the official winner of that contest.

In a statement Thursday, Hobbs praised Pima County Superior Court Judge Casey McGinley’s order forcing the county to review its results.

“Today’s court decision was a victory for Arizona’s democracy and ensures that the votes of all Arizonans are counted,” Hobbs said.

At a hearing earlier in the day, McGinley had ordered the board to meet Thursday afternoon to certify the results and deliver them to Hobbs.

Hobbs defeated Trump-backed Kari Lake in the state gubernatorial race last month. Cochise County voters largely favored Lake, a prominent voter denialist who has refused to concede the race.

Under state law, Arizona is supposed to certify its results by December 8, with or without certification from all counties.

Vaughn Hillyard contributed.