Secretary of State-elect Adrian Fontes warned that if any red-dominated counties in Arizona do not certify their midterm election results by the deadline, they run the possibility of “disenfranchising” their own votes.
The election this year, which has been contested by Republican candidates across the state, went “okay,” according to Fontes, a Democrat, in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday night. He added that there were a few “bumps and bruises here and there.”
Real election supervisors are aware that no election is flawless, according to Fontes. But when you’re dealing with conspiracies and fiction rather than fact, every minor annoyance becomes part of this grand scheme to suppress the vote, which is absurd.
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Two counties with significant Republican populations have chosen to postpone certifying their midterm ballots in protest of the tabulation equipment problems that Maricopa County encountered on Election Day. According to the Associated Press, the Mohave County board of supervisors in northwest Arizona has decided to certify its votes on the November 28 deadline as a “political statement” (AP).
Cochise County supervisors, who oversee a county in the state’s southeast, similarly chose not to certify the ballots cast there and made no commitment to do so. The board of Cochise County runs the risk of having all of its county’s votes not counted if it does not certify its election results by December 5—the revised deadline set by state Election Director Kori Lorick on Monday.
Regarding Cochise County’s delay, Fontes stated, “Unfortunately, the disenfranchisement is going to come from those folks and, look, that will throw a number of these statewide offices pretty handily to Democrats.”
In some areas, such as Arizona’s 6th Congressional District, where Representative-elect Juan Ciscomani defeated his Democratic opponent by just over 5,000 votes, a blue shift could occur if Cochise County is not taken into account, according to Fontes.
Republicans received as much as 60% of the vote in the remote county, according to the AP report. According to unofficial data from Cochise County, 11,994 same-day voters out of a total of 47,000 voters cast ballots in this year’s election.
They are playing in the hazardous territory, according to Fontes. “And once more, everything is built on this absurd enormous lie. These people have a legal obligation to safeguard voters and the votes they cast.”
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In addition, some Republican candidates in Arizona have refused to accept defeat in the top four contests, claiming that Election Day errors in Maricopa County resulted in the disenfranchisement of Republican in-person voters.
In a statement made on Monday, GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake said she would “continue fighting” in what she called a “botched and broken election.” Lake has also backed former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated accusations that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. Katie Hobbs, the incoming governor of Arizona, defeated Lake, who has yet to surrender.
Mark Finchem, Fontes’ Republican rival, has similarly declined to accept defeat in the contest for secretary of state, joining Lake as another Trump-backed loser. For Arizona’s attorney general on Monday, Democrat Kris Mayes triumphed against Republican Abraham Hamadeh. Before her victory can be declared, the race is expected to need to be recounted.
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