Two Cochise County Supervisors refused to certify the results of the 2022 elections. Arizona law requires that the Board of Supervisors of each county certify the results in their respective counties after each election. LWV Arizona and several partners filed an amicus brief in the Cochise County Superior Court, urging the Supervisors be ordered to certify the election.
After each election, Arizona law requires that the Board of Supervisors in each county certify the results and forward them to the Secretary of State for final certification. This duty is purely ministerial, meaning the Supervisors have no discretion in performing this task and must certify the election.
The Cochise County Board of Supervisors consists of three members. Two members, Republicans Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd, refused to certify the election results, citing unsubstantiated concerns that the ballot counting machines were not properly validated and certified for use. The machines in question were fully evaluated by the United States Election Assistance Commission in a properly accredited lab.
In response, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Cochise County, seeking an order mandating the Supervisors to certify the election. The League of Women Voters of Arizona, ACLU of Arizona, the Arizona Democracy Resource Center, and the Arizona Center for Empowerment filed an amicus brief supporting the Secretary of State. The Arizona Alliance of Retired Americans also filed a separate lawsuit seeking an order requiring certification.
On December 1, 2022, the Superior Court of Cochise County ordered the Board of Supervisors to meet and certify the election results by 5pm local time on the same day.
The Board, in a 2 – 0 vote, with Supervisor Crosby not voting, certified the election by the deadline. On December 5, 2022, Governor Doug Ducey, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, and Arizona’s Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, certified the election, officially marking the end of the 2022 election in Arizona, except for recounts in several races.
LWV Arizona and its partners were represented in this matter by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Brennan Center for Justice, Latham Watkins, and Spencer Fane.
Cochise County Supervisors vote to delay certification
In a 2 – 1 vote, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors votes to delay certification of the election results, citing unsubstantiated ‘concerns’ with the accreditation of ballot counting machines.
LWV Arizona files amicus brief
LWV Arizona, together with partners, files an amicus brief calling on the court to order the Board of Supervisors in Cochise County to certify the election. The brief emphasizes that failure to certify could disenfranchise tens of thousands of voters in the county.
Court orders certification of the election
After a 90-minute hearing, for which the Supervisors were unable to secure counsel, the court orders the Board to certify the election by 5 p.m. Arizona time. Subsequently, the Board complies with the order in a 2-0 vote.
Arizona certifies the election
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Governor Doug Ducey, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, and Arizona Chief Justice Robert Brutinel certify the election results, officially ending the 2022 election in Arizona.