According to emails and documents uncovered by the Daily Caller News Foundation, Arizona’s Democratic Secretary of State and Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs’ senior assistant threatened the Mohave County Board of Supervisors with prosecution if it did not certify her election results by Monday’s deadline.
Director of Elections for the State of Arizona Kori Lorick sent many letters and emails to board members, threatening them with criminal penalties if they failed to certify the election results on time. According to the emails, the letters also included threats of litigation against the members for “nonfeasance.”
“The Secretary of State did contact our County and cited A.R.S. Section 16-1010 as a statute that could be used to prosecute [the board] if they did not certify the election,” Mohave County attorney Matt Smith told the DCNF. As a Class 6 felony, conviction could result in up to two years of imprisonment for election officials who “fail to perform their duties” as required by law.
“The threat of legal action, including personally, came from the Arizona State Elections Director [Kori Lorick],” said Travis Linginfelter, the board’s chair-elect Supervisor. Previously, it was reported that the board members were threatened of prosecution by their attorney. However, the board members have now said that Lorick, who reports to Hobbs, made the threats.
“Our office will take all legal action necessary to ensure that Arizona’s voters have their votes counted, including referring the individual supervisors who vote not to certify for criminal enforcement under A.R.S. 16-1010,” Lorick stated in an email to the board obtained by the DCNF. Governor-elect Hobbs has neither resigned as secretary of state nor recused herself from election oversight and certification.
Hobbs was elected governor of Arizona on November 8 to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, defeating Republican opponent Kari Lake, who has since filed a challenge to the election results. In Arizona’s U.S. Senate contest, where Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly defeated Republican Blake Masters to earn a full six-year term, Republicans also suffered a loss.
Hobbs’ team made many attempts, including Lorick’s threat of prosecution, to get Mohave County to certify its election results before the November 28 state deadline. Concerned that voting machines used in their precincts had not been legally authorized by the Secretary of State’s office, Republican members of the board, as in other counties in the state, attempted to convene public hearings investigating the legality of the devices.
Lorick also sent a letter to the board warning that their voters could be “disenfranchised” if they did not certify by the deadline. The letter, obtained exclusively by the DCNF from Linginfelter, states that the board “has a non-discretionary duty to canvass the returns of the election,” and that a failure to do so “will only serve to disenfranchise that county’s voters,” mirroring her warnings to other GOP-led counties that their votes “may be excluded” from the final tallies, thereby affecting results.
Mohave County was one of several counties that requested additional time to evaluate election integrity problems, but it is the only county in which elected officials were reportedly threatened with incarceration. Cochise County, another Republican-controlled county in Arizona that has not declared its election results, is now the subject of a lawsuit filed by Hobbs’ office, but none of the county’s Republicans have reported criminal prosecution.
The Mohave County board finally certified the election results on Monday, before the deadline passed, albeit the fear of individual legal repercussions for board members may have affected their willingness to delay certification, similar to Cochise. During the video broadcast of the Board’s canvas meeting, Chairman and Supervisor Ron Gould stated that the acts were “under duress.”
🚨 Breaking 🚨
"I found out today that I have no choice but to vote "Aye" or I will be arrested and charged with a felony."
Ron Gould of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors was told he would be arrested if he did not certify the election.
Mohave was certified under duress. pic.twitter.com/Urt0aWIiyM
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) November 29, 2022
More on this story via The Western Journal:
The legislative certification of election results is a routine process that occurs in jurisdictions across the country, with legislators mostly having the ability to raise objections to results during the certification process. The most notable such challenge occurred in the U.S. Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, when Republican lawmakers and supporters of then-President Donald Trump raised objections to returns of Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania. CONTINUE READING…