Rep. Grijalva Urges DOJ To Investigate Cochise County’s Transfer of Election Authority

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, March 15, U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asking the DOJ to investigate the recent transfer of election authority in Cochise County, Arizona. On Feb. 28, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors voted to transfer election authority from the Cochise County Elections Department to County Recorder David Stevens (R), with two of the three members supporting the unprecedented move. The agreement came after the resignation of long-time Cochise County elections director Lisa Marra, who cited the “outrageous and physically and emotionally threatening” working atmosphere. Marra urged the supervisors to follow state law in 2022 when they tried to conduct illegal hand counts of ballots and refused to certify election results. In contrast, Stevens pushed for the hand count last fall. 

“David Stevens has a history of endorsing election denialism and has close connections with election denying candidates in Arizona,” Grijalva wrote in his letter, citing his concern. Grijalva urged the DOJ to investigate the transfer of election authority and to “monitor this situation as it continues to unfold.” 

Last week, Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) filed a lawsuit against the Cochise County supervisors and Stevens over the transfer agreement. The attorney general alleged that the recorder “has unlawfully aggrandized his power, and the Board has unlawfully and almost completely offloaded its statutory duties over elections” in violation of the Arizona Constitution and Arizona law. Grijalva’s final request is for the DOJ to provide Mayes “with the resources and support her office may need to protect voting rights and the integrity of elections in Arizona.”

Read Grijalva’s letter here.

Learn more about Mayes’ lawsuit here.