The Cochise County Board of Supervisors voted to order a full hand recount of ballots for the upcoming elections, despite legal threats and warnings.
On Monday, the Board, comprised of two Republicans and one Democrat, voted in favor of ordering a hand recount of all ballots cast in the upcoming general election, after a four hour meeting with 100 attendees. The Arizona Republic reported that most of those carrying protest signs into the meeting supported the measure, although some protested against it.
Peggy Judd, one of the Republicans, said that the vote was about “the people,” and their right to vote and how they are “counted and feel confident in the election process.” Arizona has been a focus for those concerned with election integrity, following the statewide forensic audit of the 2020 presidential election.
However, Cochise County was warned by the office of current Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running against Kari Lake to be the next governor of Arizona, that the county would be sued if they voted in favor of the hand recount.
State Elections Services Director Kori Lorick called into the meeting, claiming that it would be “impossible to complete an accurate hand count of an election with dozens of races on the ballot without redirecting critical resources needed to run the election,” and that it would “jeopardize the county’s ability to conduct a fair and accurate election.”
Arizona State Rep Joel John, a Republican, threatened to launch a legal complaint with the state Attorney General, which “could result in the withholding and redistribution of Cochise County’s state shared revenue if the County is found to be in violation of state law.”
John claimed that the hand recount in Cochise would not be “consistent with… statutory requirements” regarding recounts, and would instead “divert finite time and resources away from the completion of these and other requirements, away from the accurate tabulation of votes, and away from the timely canvassing and certification of election results.”
“Arizonans deserve timely, secure, and accurate election results – not a redo of the Cyber Ninjas circus that made us the laughingstock [sic] of the nation,” John said in the letter, published before the meeting.
Arizona State Rep Mark Finchem, who is running to replace Hobbs as Secretary of State, slammed John’s letter on Twitter. “It will be of course be unfounded since there is no prohibition in law that prevents the supervisors from allowing hand counting,” Finchem tweeted. “Joel John is an utter disgrace.”