December 2, 2022

PHOENIX (AP) — A rural Arizona county certified its midterm election results on Thursday, following the orders of a judge who ruled that Republican supervisors broke the law when they refused to sign off on the vote count by this week’s deadline. Two Republicans on Cochise County’s three-member board of supervisors balked for weeks about certifying the election, even as the deadline passed on Monday. They did not cite any problems with the election results. Rather, they say they weren’t satisfied that the machines used to tabulate ballots were properly certified for use in elections, though state and federal election officials have said they were. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs filed suit Monday, as did a local voter and a group of retirees, asking a judge to force the supervisors to certify the election, a process formally known as a canvass. Hobbs said she is required to hold the statewide certification on Dec. 5 and by law can delay it only until Dec. 8. At the end of a hearing Thursday, Judge Casey McGinley ordered the supervisors to convene within 90 minutes and to approve the election canvass by the end of the day. “I am not ashamed of anything I did,” said Supervisor Peggy Judd, one of the two Republicans who twice blocked certification. “And today 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 did today.” The board’s other Republican, Tom Crosby, skipped the meeting. Two hours earlier, Supervisor Ann English, the board’s lone Democrat, urged the judge to order the board to immediately certify the election and not wait another day. She said Crosby is trying to stage a “smackdown between the secretary of state and the election deniers” at a meeting scheduled for Friday. “I think it’s a circus that doesn’t need to have to happen,” English said. “So I’ve had enough. I think the public’s had enough. So I’m asking for a swift resolution of this if that’s possible.” The vote allows the statewide certification to go forward as scheduled on Monday. Hobbs, a Democrat who was elected governor in November’s election, had warned that she may have to certify statewide results without numbers from Cochise County if they aren’t received in time, an outcome that could have tipped the balance of several close races. The county’s 47,000 votes went overwhelmingly to Republicans. The board members represented themselves in court after struggling to find someone willing to take the cases. The elected county attorney, who normally represents the board in legal disputes, refused to handle the cases, saying the supervisors acted illegally. The board voted hours before the hearing to hire a Phoenix-area attorney, but he was not able to get up to speed before the hearing and did not inform the court he was representing the supervisors. Days before the Nov. 8 election, the Republican supervisors abandoned plans to hand count all ballots, which the court said would be illegal, but demanded last week that the secretary of state prove vote-counting machines were legally certified before they would approve the election results. On Monday, they said they wanted to hear again about those concerns before taking a vote on certification. A meeting is scheduled for that purpose on Friday. There are two companies that are accredited by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to conduct testing and certification of voting equipment, such as the electronic tabulators used in Arizona to read and count ballots. Conspiracy theories surrounding this process surfaced in early 2021, focused on what appeared to be an outdated accreditation certificate for one of the companies that was posted online. Federal officials investigated and reported that an administrative error had resulted in the agency failing to reissue an updated certificate as the company remained in good standing and underwent audits in 2018 and in early 2021. Officials also noted federal law dictates the only way a testing company can lose certification is for the commission to revoke it, which did not occur. Meanwhile, a federal judge in Phoenix sanctioned lawyers who represented Kari Lake and Mark Finchem, the defeated Republican candidates for governor and secretary of state, respectively, in a lawsuit seeking to require hand counting of all ballots. Judge John Tuchi, a Barack Obama appointee, agreed with lawyers for Maricopa County, who argued the lawsuit was based on frivolous information, and ordered the lawyers to pay the county’s legal fees. The lawyers “made false, misleading, and unsupported factual assertions” in their lawsuit, Tuchi wrote. He said the court will not condone lawyers “furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust” in the democratic process. The lawyers for Lake and Finchem, including well-known Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, did not respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press. They told the court that their claims were “legally sound and supported by strong evidence.” ____ This story corrects a previous version that said Mark Finchem was the Republican candidate for attorney general. He was the candidate for secretary of state. Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.

November 14, 2022

The Supreme Court cleared the way on Monday for the House select committee investigating the January 6 US Capitol attack to obtain the phone and text records of Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward.

November 2, 2022

Local and federal law enforcement have been alarmed by reports of people, some armed, watching 24-hour ballot boxes in the two counties.

November 1, 2022

“This is another major boost of momentum as we consolidate our support,” Blake Masters said.

October 18, 2022

Americans are weeks away from November's midterm elections, and early voting has already begun in some states. A close battle for the Senate has many eyes trained on the races that could secure control for either party, while controversy over election fraud has others watching the gubernatorial races since governors play an important role in overseeing elections.  Here is the state of some of the key battleground states ahead of the upcoming midterm elections: Arizona Governor: Katie Hobbs (D) v Kari Lake (R) The race for Arizona governor is shaping up to be tight. Data from a recent Fox 10/InsiderAdvantage poll reveals that Republican candidate Kari Lake is now leading by about 4 points, with 49.3 percent to Hobbs' 45.6. An earlier Fox10/InsiderAdvantage poll had shown Hobbs in the lead at 43 percent, but Lake has gained favor in more recent surveys. Lake has a significant lead among voters aged 18 to 39, up on Hobbs by 11 points with the demographic. She also has a lead among independent voters, with only 4 percent remaining undecided.  Hobbs currently serves as Arizona's secretary of state, where political sentiments have historically favored Republicans, per The Guardian. Her opponent is a former news anchor and a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump. Lake has repeated Trump's false claim that he won the state of Arizona during his bid for re-election in 2020. On Sunday, Lake refused to commit to accepting the election results if she were to lose. In an interview for CNN's State of the Union, Lake stated, "I'm going to win the election, and I will accept that result." Additionally, she said, "The people of Arizona will never support and vote for a coward like Katie Hobbs."  Senate: Mark Kelly (D) v Blake Masters (R) The Fox10/InsiderAdvantage poll results also showed that Democratic candidate Mark Kelly has a 4-point lead over Republican Blake Masters in the state's Senate race, with Kelly polling at 46 percent and Masters at 41.6. Sen. Mark Kelly (D) has outpaced his opponent in raising election funds in the third quarter, according to Federal Election Commission Records, per CNBC. A surprising jump in support for Libertarian candidate Marc Victor may spell further trouble for Masters, effectively securing the win for Kelly if Victor does not drop out of the race. The results of Arizona-based pollster OH Predictive Insights (OHPI) and the latest Arizona Public Opinion Pulse (AZPOP) predicted Victor could earn close to 15 percent of the vote — a 9-point increase from their survey in September.   The Fox10/InsiderAdvantage poll included responses from 550 registered voters in Arizona with a margin of error is 4.2 percent. OHPI's AZPOP surveyed 674 Arizona likely voters between conducted Oct. 4-6 with a margin of error of +/- 3.77 percent. Pennsylvania Governor: Doug Mastriano (R) v Josh Shapiro (D) Non-partisan poll aggregator Real Clear Politics' average shows Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro (D) with a 10-point lead over his opponent Doug Mastriano (R). The polls affecting the RCP average include the latest Daily Wire/Trafalgar Group poll, where Shapiro is ahead with almost 53 percent compared to Mastriano's 43.5 percent.  Mastriano, a far-right senator, has been the center of many controversies since he falsely claimed that Trump had won his state during the 2020 presidential election and was subpoenaed by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 capitol attack. Mastriano was photographed outside of the U.S Capitol on Jan. 6, per The Associated Press.  The Daily Wire/Trafalgar Group poll surveyed 1078 likely election voters through an online survey between Oct. 8 and Oct. 11. The margin of error was 2.9 percent. Senate: John Fetterman (D) v Mehmet Oz (R) The battle for the Pennsylvania Senate seat has been one of the most closely followed this midterm season: Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) is up against Trump-endorsed former TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz. The Daily Wire/Trafalgar poll shows Fetterman ahead of Oz, 47 percent to 45 percent.  Fetterman is recovering from a stroke he suffered in May and he recently addressed the debate over the state of his health. On Saturday, he told a crowd at a rally that he has "auditory processing" issues and sometimes stumbles over his words, The Washington Post reports. His opponent has made his recovery a focus of his aggressive ad campaigns against Fetterman. Oz has also called Fetterman soft on crime due to Fetterman's celebratory response to Biden's recent pardon of those with simple marijuana possession charges.  The Daily Wire/Trafalgar Group poll surveyed 1078 likely election voters through an online survey between Oct. 8 and Oct. 11. The margin of error was 2.9 percent. Georgia Governor: Stacey Abrams (D) v Brian Kemp (R) Voting rights activist Stacey Abrams (D) is facing Gov. Brian Kemp (R) in a rematch after she lost to him in 2018. The RCP average has Kemp with a 5-point lead, but a Quinnipiac University poll shows a close race with 50 percent of likely voters supporting incumbent Kemp, while 49 percent support Abrams. Abrams has been admonishing Kemp for his pro-abortion stance, while Kemp has largely avoided the issue to focus on inflation, The New York Times reports. The two candidates faced each other in their first debate since 2018 on the evening of Oct. 17. Senate: Herschel Walker (R) v Raphael Warnock (D) Another highly anticipated Senate faceoff pits Republican Herschel Walker against Democrat Raphael Warnock. This race is being closely watched, as it has the potential to determine which party ends up with control of the Senate. The Quinnipiac poll found that Warnock was in the lead with likely voters, 52 percent to 45 percent. Walker, who supports strict abortion bans, recently came under fire when a woman claimed he paid for her to get an abortion in 2009; Republicans and Trump have rallied behind him after he deemed the story an outright lie. In a recent debate, Warnock called Walker out for previous false claims he made about being a police officer, despite never having a job in law enforcement, CNN reports. Walker responded by displaying a badge, which he later admitted was an honorary badge, per CNN. Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,157 likely voters throughout Georgia via cellular and landline phones from Oct. 7 to Oct. 10. The margin of error was +/- 2.9. 



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