In response to voting-related problems in Maricopa County, the Board of Supervisors in Mohave County, Arizona, became the second county to request a postponement of the certification of the midterm election results on Monday.
As a “political statement” of “solidarity” with those who were dissatisfied with the voting machine problems that beset Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county, board members divided on whether to postpone certifying the election results until the deadline of Nov. 28. The action comes after Maricopa County Attorney’s Office received a letter from Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Wright on Saturday demanding an explanation for problems with ballot-on-demand printers at at least 60 polling places.
In the midterm election, which saw nearly 2.6 million Arizonans cast ballots, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs was elected governor and Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., was re-elected to a full six-year term in office. However, Hobbs’ Republican rival Kari Lake has refused to declare victory, citing the disenfranchisement of her supporters as the reason.
On Election Day, November 8, Maricopa County reported issues at about 30% of its voting locations when tabulators were unable to read some ballots.
According to election officials, every ballot was counted, and nobody’s right to vote was compromised. Voters who had problems with the tabulators were instructed to place their ballots in a safe box, which was then transported to the county elections office and tabulated by machines working order.
But in a letter dated Nov. 19, the state attorney general’s office demanded answers, claiming “first-hand witness accounts” raised questions about whether Maricopa County complied with state election law.
Wright wrote that “Arizonans deserve a full report and accounting of the myriad issues that related to Maricopa County’s administration of the 2022 General Election.”
About 17,000 ballots cast on Election Day, according to Maricopa County officials, were affected by the issues and were not counted right away. On election day, only 16% of Maricopa County’s 1.56 million votes were cast in person, according to the Associated Press.
Despite the fact that Mohave County’s ballots were not affected by any problems, board members decided to postpone the certification of the results until the deadline of November 28 in what those in favor acknowledged was a “political statement.”
Board member Hildy Angius stated, “I’m not going to lie, it’s a political statement. “It doesn’t hinder us because we completed it in 2020. It won’t make us responsible. Once more, it’s an expression of support for other counties who also take similar action.”
On Friday, election officials in southeast Cochise County passed a resolution delaying certification of their election results while they awaited confirmation from the secretary of state that their vote-counting equipment was legitimately certified. Three witnesses who claimed the certifications had expired testified before the county before the vote.
The county board received certifications for the voting machines from the US Election Assistance Commission on Monday from state director of elections Kori Lorick. The board was also forewarned by Lorick that all votes cast in Cochise County will not be counted if the certification is not received by the secretary of state’s office by December 5. Republicans won up to 60% of the vote in Cochise County, so if the results there were not certified, Democrats would gain.