The Board of Supervisors in Mohave County, Arizona moved to delay certification of the midterm election results on Monday in protest of voting issues in Maricopa County, becoming the second county to do so.
In a split vote, board members decided to wait until the Nov. 28 deadline to certify the election results as a “political statement” of “solidarity” with those upset with the voting machine issues that plagued Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county. The move comes as Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Wright sent a letter Saturday to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office demanding explanations for issues with ballot-on-demand printers in at least 60 voting locations.
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 in the midterm election, when nearly 2.6 million Arizonans voted. However, Hobbs’ Republican opponent, Kari Lake, has refused to concede the race, claiming her supporters were disenfranchised by the Election Day issues.
Maricopa County reported problems at about 30% of its vote centers on Nov. 8, when tabulators were unable to read some ballots.
Election officials have said all the ballots were counted and that no one lost their ability to vote. Voters who experienced issues with the tabulators were told to place their ballots in a secure box, which were transported to the county elections headquarters and tabulated by machines in working order.
However, the state attorney general’s office demanded explanations in a Nov. 19 letter, stating there were “first-hand witness accounts” that raised concerns over whether Maricopa County complied with state election law.
“Arizonans deserve a full report and accounting of the myriad problems that occurred in relation to Maricopa County’s administration of the 2022 General Election,” Wright wrote.
According to Maricopa County officials, about 17,000 Election Day ballots were affected by the problems and were counted later instead of at the polling place. Only 16% of the 1.56 million votes cast in Maricopa County were made in-person on Election Day, the Associated Press reported.
Though Mohave County did not experience issues with their ballots, board members voted to delay certification of the results until the Nov. 28 deadline in what those in favor acknowledged was a “political statement.”
“It’s a political statement, I’m not going to lie,” board member Hildy Angius said. “We did it in 2020, it doesn’t hinder us. It’s not going to hold us liable. It’s, again, a statement of solidarity with other counties who are doing this.”
Officials in southeastern Cochise County also voted to delay certification of their election results on Friday, requesting that the secretary of state confirm that their vote-counting machines were legally certified. Before the vote, the county had heard testimony from three individuals who alleged the certifications had lapsed.
On Monday, state Elections Director Kori Lorick provided the county board with certifications for the vote-counting machines from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Lorick also warned the board that if the certification is not received by the secretary of state’s office by Dec. 5, all Cochise County votes will go uncounted. Failure to certify the results in Cochise County would benefit Democrats, as some Republicans won as much as 60% of the vote there.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.