State officials in Arizona Monday certified its vote canvass, declaring Democrats Katie Hobbs and Sen. Mark Kelly the winners in its gubernatorial and Senate races, respectively.
Arizona state Secretary of State Hobbs, who is now Governor-elect, current Governor Doug Ducey (R), state Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) and Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel met to canvass last month’s election on Monday according to a timeline mandated by state law.
But Monday’s meeting was likely to spark GOP-led lawsuits in a state that remains a hotbed for election denialism and other election controversies. Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R), who lost to Hobbs, has promised to take legal action, as has Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh (R), who trails his Democratic rival by the slimmest of margins ahead of an automatic recount.
Along with the AG recount, the certification also paved the way for automatic recounts to begin in two other close races—state superintendent and one state House seat near Phoenix.
Meanwhile, two Cochise County supervisors have become the subject or a criminal referral.
The office of the state Secretary of State—who is, for now, Governor-elect Hobbs—has asserted in a letter to Arizona Attorney General Brnovich that Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd knowingly violated state law and should be investigated for potential criminal and civil offenses for delaying the canvass of the general election results.
Last week, the supervisors in Cochise County were refusing to meet Monday’s certification deadline as they faced pressure from Republicans not to approve the 2022 election results.
Cochise only finally gave in and certified after being forced to by court order.
Last week, state Elections Director Kori Lorick had said the state would sue to force Cochise County supervisors to certify. And if Cochise had continued to balk, the state would have excluded the county’s numbers from the statewide canvass, which would have flipped the victor in at least two races—a U.S. House seat and state schools chief—from Republican to Democrat.