Arizona election deniers could give away GOP House seat

Today was the deadline for Cochise County, Arizona (pop. 126,050) to certify the 2022 election.

The board of supervisors has 1 Democrat and 2 Republicans. As this article explains, they have a mandatory duty to certify election returns. But 2 Republicans voted “no.” Instead, they voted to delay certification again, to this Friday, December 2.

Here’s what happens next. The Arizona secretary of state will seek a court order to make them comply. If they still don’t certify the results by next Monday, December 5, the election will be certified without Cochise County’s votes. Nearly 47,000 Cochise County voters would be disenfranchised, and the two recalcitrant supervisors could face criminal charges.

But that’s not all. In the 6th congressional district, the GOP candidate won by 5,232 votes (see results here). But if Cochise County votes are excluded, while both candidates will lose votes, the Republican will lose 13,775 more votes than the Democrat loses (from data here, at p. 5), effectively electing the latter. Yes, that’s how it works under Arizona election laws.

And Arizona laws, not crazy conspiracy theories, determine election outcomes in that state. The GOP election deniers’ intransigence would also flip the state superintendent of education race from Republican to Democrat, and widen the Democratic attorney general candidate’s 510-vote lead going into the mandatory recount of that race (which is unlikely to change the results).

Stupidity has a price. These races should be decided by voters, not obstinate county officials, but if they don’t do their duty and comply with the law, that price will be paid.

As a practical matter, it will shrink the GOP’s House majority from 222-213 to 221-214, and will mean Democrats need to pry loose only 4 Republican votes, not 5, to elect a speaker, pass legislation, and block the investigations and impeachments the incoming House majority is threatening to carry out.

I don’t think these 2 GOP supervisors will go that far. They’ll get pressure from their party, and I think they’ll blink.

Update: Within hours, two private groups filed a lawsuit to compel Cochise County to certify its election returns. (Read that story here.)

Return to The-Ave.US Home Page

Comments are closed.