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Defeated gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.
Kari Lake in Cochise County. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Arizona County certifies election results after multiple court orders

A legal standoff in court went in Governor-elect Katie Hobbs’ favor after the court ordered Cochise county to certify its midterm election results.

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This week, a federal judge ordered rural Cochise County to certify the 2022 midterm election in Arizona after missing its original deadline to do so. 

Cochise County was the last of the 15 Arizona counties that held off on certifying the election, citing concerns over whether vote-tallying machines had been correctly certified. 

Two of the Republicans on the three-person board opted to delay the certification.

A calvary of GOP lawyers who had been monitoring the election of defeated candidates Kari Lake, Mark Finchem, and Blake Masters — all Trump endorsed — elevated what they deemed as technical inconsistencies to a federal court. 

What Lake and Finchem hoped to achieve was to compel the court to order the hand-count of millions of ballots over unfounded concerns of voter-machine unreliability. 

Not only was their case unsuccessful in court, but U.S. District Court Judge John Tuchi sanctioned the legal team, hoping it would  “make clear that the Court will not condone… false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation about, and distrust in, the democratic process.”

The sanction directs the plaintiffs to cover the legal costs of the lawsuit. 

Arizona, throughout the election, has been at the center of fraud conspiracies purported mainly by Lake, a former news anchor, who, for the whole of her campaign, evoked distrust in the voting system. 

But controversies over voting reliability in Arizona began in 2020, when President Joe Biden flipped the once solidly red state blue in the last presidential election, an event that hadn’t taken place in over a quarter of a century. 

Since then, the Grand Canyon state became a hotbed for election conspiracies that the recent GOP candidates have leveraged to advance pushback against election results, which poured in support of Democrats during the count. 

Lake consistently trailed behind Gov-elect Hobbs, and when the Associated Press called the race, the margin showed a winning Hobbs by a 50.3% v. 49.7% margin. 

The federal defeat for GOP lawyers played out as the Cochise Election Board also grappled with legal action raised by Hobbs, who is also the Arizona Secretary of State. 

Cochise County’s actions poised for election chaos — including undermining Republican victories in Arizona, as well as the will of 2.5 million Arizona voters. 

“You will meet today,” Superior Court Judge Casey F. McGinley told the three members of the Cochise County Board of Supervisors. “You will canvass the election no later than 5 o’clock.”

The board met promptly on Dec. 1, with one Republican absent, to certify the results. 

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