Officials in Cochise County, Arizona, on Thursday certified the results of the county's 2022 midterm elections during an emergency meeting, after a superior court judge ordered the board of supervisors to meet and certify the results immediately.
The board of supervisors voted 2-0 to accept the results of the election, despite initially delaying the certification earlier this week and missing Monday's deadline. Ann English, a Democrat, and Peggy Judd, a Republican, voted in favor of certification but the board's third member, Republican Tom Crosby did not attend the meeting.
The court order came days after Republicans on the board voted Monday to not certify the results in a move that risked the exclusion of more than 47,000 Arizona voters from the state's final tally. That prompted lawsuits from the secretary of state's office and an advocacy group.
Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs, in her capacity as Secretary of State, sued the county to certify the vote so her office can complete the statewide canvass by Dec. 8, the last possible day allowed under state law.
"We have an obligation to see that our elections are fair and good," said Peggy Judd, the Republican vice-chair of the board of supervisors, during Thursday's meeting. The second GOP board member Tom Crosby was not present at the meeting.
Judd said she was both "comfortable" and "uncomfortable" following the judge's order to move forward with certification of the results. "I feel I must because of a court ruling and because of my own health and situations that are going on in our life, I feel like I must follow what the judge asked us to do."
In a tweet, Hobbs said the court decision "was a win for Arizona's democracy and ensures that all Arizonans will have their votes counted." She added that the state certification will begin as scheduled on Monday.
Hobbs defeated Republican Kari Lake during the November general election by 17,116 votes. Lake, who pushed lies that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump on the campaign trail, has already filed lawsuits alleging election laws were broken in Arizona.
Lake has signaled that she will pursue further legal campaign challenges. She is scheduled to speak at a conservative event in Phoenix later this month. Meanwhile, Hobbs announced on Wednesday that her public inauguration as the next governor of Arizona will take place on Jan. 5, 2023.
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