PHOENIX (AP) — A commission overseeing a county in southeastern Arizona that Republican leaders wanted to recount all Election Day ballots on Friday says the counting machines aren’t certified. Delayed verification of last week’s poll results after hearing from three conspiracy theorists.
The three men, or some combination thereof, have filed at least four lawsuits bringing similar allegations to the Arizona Supreme Court, seeking to overturn the state’s 2020 election results since 2021. Courts dismissed all of them for lack of evidence, for having taken too long since the election was accredited, or for increasingly harsh language seeking denial of relief.
But Tom Rice, Brian Steiner, and Daniel Wood told the two Republicans who control the Cochise County Board of Supervisors that their claims are valid enough to delay certification until the Nov. 28 deadline. succeeded in persuading
They argued that the U.S. Election Assistance Commission had revoked the test company’s certification and voided the certification of vote-counting equipment used statewide.
This came despite testimony from state election officials that the machine and test company were in fact certified.
“The equipment used in Cochise County is properly certified under both federal and state laws and requirements,” state elections administrator Cori Rorick told the board. “The claim that the SLI test lab was not properly accredited is false.”
The move has been the latest drama in recent weeks in Republican-dominated counties, with GOP directors Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd urging all of them in last week’s election to determine if the machine’s counting was accurate. It started when I voted to count the votes by hand.
Crosby is also defending a lawsuit he and Judd filed against county election officials earlier this week in an attempt to force a handcount.They dropped the lawsuit against Lisa Mara on Wednesday.
“If the presenter’s demands are met by evidence that our machines are indeed legal and legally certified, then we really need to accept that result,” said Crosby. “However, the opposite is also true if the machine is not legally certified. We are currently unable to verify this election.”
Crosby and Judd then voted to defer certification, with Crosby saying he thought Wood, Steiner and Rice were “experts” and therefore needed to provide evidence.
The Democratic superintendent, Anne English, could not overthrow them.
The delay could jeopardize state certifications set for Dec. 5 and at least one statewide recount.
Rorick issued a statement after the vote, vowing legal action to force the board to accept the results. Under Arizona law, the official election canvas cannot be altered by elected county commissioners. Their only role is to accept the numbers tallied by the Electoral Department.
“If they fail to do so, the[state’s]secretary will use all available legal remedies to enforce compliance with Arizona law and protect the right of Cochise County voters to count their votes.” Loric said.
All 15 Arizona counties are facing the same Nov. 28 deadline, but there is no indication other counties are considering a similar defiance.
At least one statewide race will be recounted once the state certifies the results on December 5th.
The race between Republican Abraham Hamade and Democrat Chris Mays for Attorney General is so close that a recount is certain. Fewer votes left than the margin for the mandatory recount of 12,500 votes.
“It’s going to be a close race. Every vote counts,” Mays said in a short interview. “And it’s clearly heading towards a recount in some way.”
Another statewide election is also within the recount, but incumbent Public Instruction Superintendent Kathy Hoffman conceded Thursday to Republican Tom Horn. Horn is a former school principal who served as attorney general for two years before losing the 2014 primary. He was ahead of his 9,000 votes on Friday.
Horn criticizes Hoffman for embracing progressive teachings, saying he shuts down hints at “critical racial theory” not taught in public schools, but a hot issue for social conservatives. promised.
Judd said on Wednesday that he would move to pave the way for a state recount.
“We had to step back from everything we were trying to do and say, ‘OK, we’ve got to do this,'” Judd told the Associated Press. “Because interfering with[Mara]is the last thing we want to do.”
There is no evidence of widespread fraud or manipulation of voting machines during the 2020 or this year’s midterm elections.
Arizona’s recount law changed this year. The previous margin for mandatory recount was 1/10 of 1%. Currently 0.5%.
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