JUST IN: Katie Hobbs Threatens Prosecution If County Does Not Certify Election

(CBrief) – Democrat Arizona Secretary of State and Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs has threatened one county with prosecution if it does not certify its election. The Secretary of State appeared to threaten the Mohave County Board of Supervisors with prosecution if it does not certify the election by Monday, the Daily Caller reported.

“Arizona State Elections Director Kori Lorick wrote several letters and emails to members of the board, warning them of criminal charges if the refused to certify the results in time. The letters included threats of lawsuits against the members for ‘nonfeasance,’ as well, per the emails,” The Caller said.

“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,” Matt Smith, the Mohave County Attorney, said to the DCNF.

“The statute is an Arizona felony statute regarding election officials who “fail to perform their duties” under the law; as a Class 6 felony, upon conviction, it could result in up to two years’ imprisonment,” it said.

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“The threat of legal action, including personally, came from the Arizona State Elections Director [Kori Lorick],” Supervisor Travis Linginfelter, the board’s chair-elect, said.

“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 said in an email to the board.

Hobbs was elected governor of Arizona on Nov. 8 to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, defeating the Republican candidate Kari Lake, who has now sought to contest the election results. Republicans also lost Arizona’s U.S. Senate race, where Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly defeated Republican investor Blake Masters to win a full six-year term.

Lorick’s threat of prosecution was one of several efforts made by Hobbs’ team to force Mohave County to certify its election results before the Nov. 28 state deadline. Republican members of the board, like in other counties in the state, had sought to hold public hearings regarding the validity of voting machines used in their precincts, over concerns that they were not properly approved by the Secretary of State’s office.

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 Lingenfelter, 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.

It comes as another county has been threatened with a lawsuit.

A Republican who defeated his Democrat opponent in a competitive Arizona district could actually lose his spot in Congress because the county has refused to certify the election.

Arizona Secretary of State and Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs has sued the county in the Cochise County Superior Court and asked it to certify the election, The Washington Examiner reported.

Republican Juan Ciscomani has unofficially been victorious in the district but if the county does not certify the election it could eliminate the 38,706 votes cast for him and give the Democrat, Kirsten Engel, the victory.

If the county does not certify its election “the Secretary will have no choice but to complete the statewide canvass by Dec. 8 without Cochise County’s votes included,” the lawsuit said.

“Thus, the Board’s inaction not only violates the plain language of the statute, but undermines a basic tenet of free and fair elections in this state: ensuring that every Arizonan’s voice is heard,” it said.

Cochise County Supervisor Ann English, the lone Democrat on the board, said, “There is no reason for us to delay,” per NPR. However, she was outvoted by GOP Supervisors Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd.

The Associated Press called the race with Ciscomani receiving 50.7% of the votes, a narrow win over Engel with 49.3%. However, statewide results without Cochise County’s numbers would reportedly flip the seat in favor of Engel. A state schools chief seat would also flip for the Democrats.


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