A contender in a contentious contest for governor uses her existing position to end a county’s protest of the result.
This is the most recent development from Arizona, where Democratic nominee and current secretary of state Katie Hobbs is suing a county that refuses to certify the results of this year’s election.
The media has pronounced Hobbs the victor over Republican Kari Lake.
“Cochise County had a statutory duty to certify the results of the 2022 General Election by today. My office has filed a lawsuit to ensure all voters have their votes [count],” Hobbs tweeted Monday.
The Twitter handle for Lake’s War Room objected to the technique. Lake will not surrender the election.
“This is an egregious abuse of power but when has that ever stopped you before?” the account posted.
Cochise County had a statutory duty to certify the results of the 2022 General Election by today. My office has filed a lawsuit to ensure all voters have their votes county. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/NXCXWjeQQi
— Secretary Katie Hobbs (@SecretaryHobbs) November 29, 2022
Another tweet from Lake’s War Room account said Hobbs “presided over an illegitimate election & crowned herself as winner. Now she is trying to strong arm Arizona counties into holding a coronation for her. This is an incredibly dangerous precedent she’s setting. These abuses of power will not stop as Governor.”
.@katiehobbs presided over an illegitimate election & crowned herself as winner.
Now she is trying to strong arm Arizona counties into holding a coronation for her.
This is an incredibly dangerous precedent she's setting.
These abuses of power will not stop as Governor. https://t.co/N6b5fjknyr
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) November 29, 2022
Hobbs, whose duties as secretary of state include overseeing elections, was asked to recuse herself from overseeing this year’s election to prevent the appearance of a conflict of interest. In 2018, Hobbs was elected to her position.
Monday, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors denied the certification of the roughly 47,000 ballots cast in the November 8 election.
The board then announced that it will reconsider the decision on Friday.
Concerned about the accuracy and security of tabulation machines, the board had voted before to the election to undertake a comprehensive audit of the ballots by manual counting. Hobbs threatened legal action if the action was taken.
The complaint asserts Hobbs is acting in the voters’ best interests.
“Absent this Court’s intervention, the Secretary will have no choice but to complete the statewide canvass by December 8 without Cochise County’s votes included. Thus, the Board’s inaction not only violates the plain language of the statute, but also undermines a basic tenet of free and fair elections in the state: ensuring that every Arizonan’s voice is heard,” the lawsuit said.
What’s the point of certification if it’s forced? https://t.co/Y4ei2eELYd
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) November 29, 2022
KPHO-TV said that without the county’s votes, elections for a member in the U.S. House of Representatives and the state schools superintendent might swing from Republican to Democrat.
According to the lawsuit, failure to comply with the Thursday deadline will “sow further confusion and doubt about the integrity of Arizona’s election system.”