Arizona Secretary of State Sues Cochise County for Failing to Canvass Election Results

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, Nov. 28, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) filed a lawsuit against Cochise County and the Cochise County Board of Supervisors for failing to canvass the county’s 2022 midterm elections results by the statutory deadline of Nov. 28, 2022. Canvassing is the process in which local election officials confirm results by reviewing and finalizing the unofficial results reported on election night, after which the secretary of state can then certify statewide election results. This lawsuit was filed after the two Republican members of the Cochise County Board of Supervisors voted to postpone canvassing the 2022 election results, which resulted in the county’s failure to meet the legally mandated deadline of Nov. 28. 

In the complaint, Hobbs alleges that under Arizona law, the board was “required to meet and canvass the election by November 28th – but the Board has failed to take this required action.” Hobbs also contends that the board’s inaction, in addition to violating Arizona law, will also “potentially disenfranchise the [tens of thousands of] voters of Cochise County.” Furthermore, the complaint notes that the board’s failure to canvass the election results is based on unfounded allegations “about the testing, certification, and accreditation of electronic voting equipment” that serve to “sow further confusion and doubt about the integrity of Arizona’s election system.” Hobbs requests a writ of mandamus (a court order compelling a party to take a certain action) to order the board to canvass the county’s election results no later than Dec. 1 so that she can certify Arizona’s statewide election results without being forced to exclude votes from Cochise County. 

In addition to the Arizona secretary of state, the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans also filed a lawsuit yesterday against the Cochise County Board of Supervisors seeking to compel the county to certify its election results. Notably, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors and its Republican members have been the subject of litigation that took place earlier this election cycle regarding the county’s numerous attempts to hand count ballots cast during the 2022 midterm elections. Now, in the post-election period, the board’s Republican members are relentlessly continuing their efforts to create chaos and cast doubt on the electoral process, this time by attempting to undermine election results and throw out lawfully cast votes.

Read the complaint here. 

Learn more about the case here.