By Caden Pearson
A second Arizona county on Monday delayed certifying its midterm election results until the Nov. 28 deadline in a show of solidarity with Maricopa County, where voting problems were reported on Election Day.
The Mohave County board of supervisors explicitly promised during a meeting they would certify the results by Nov. 28, saying their decision to push certification back until the deadline was a political statement.
The delay comes after Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake said Monday that “whistleblowers are coming forward” about reports of voting issues on Election Day in Maricopa County and after the state Attorney General’s Elections Integrity Unit wrote to county officials demanding a formal response about those reported problems.
Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward, a Mohave County resident, praised the decision to delay, saying rural voters were being disenfranchised by what happened in Maricopa.
“Voters in all rural counties in Arizona are being disenfranchised by Maricopa County’s incompetence/malfeasance. I’m happy to see that my county (Mohave) voted to delay certification,” she said on Twitter.
Second County to Delay Certifying Election Results
Mohave was the second Arizona county to delay certifying the election results, following Cochise County, which made its decision on Friday. However, unlike Mohave, the board of supervisors there did not promise to certify the result by the deadline.
The two Republican board of supervisors members for Cochise demanded the secretary of state prove their vote-counting machines were legally certified.
Cochise was sued by the Democrat-aligned Elias Law Group, which has been involved in a number of election-related lawsuits in Arizona.
Marc Elias, a former Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer whose former law firm, Perkins Coie, hired Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to produce and promote Steele’s disproven dossier, threatened to sue any Arizona county that doesn’t certify the results.
“Let me be clear, if any Arizona County fails to follow the law and to timely certify the election results, they will be sued. The Board members in Mohave should go ask their buddies in Cochise about how that worked out for them,” Elias wrote on Twitter.
Both Mojave and Cochise counties have Republican-majority boards. Other GOP-majority boards certified their results.
Election Integrity Unit Demands Answers From Maricopa
Election officials have said at least 60 of 223 voting locations in Maricopa County experienced technical problems related to ballot-on-demand printers having “non-uniform” printer configuration settings.
These non-uniform settings resulted in some ballots being “unable to be read by on-site ballot tabulators.” County officials estimate the technical problems may have affected more than 17,000 ballots on Election Day.
In her Monday update, Lake said Maricopa authorities are “still counting ballots” after “printer problems, tabulation errors, three-hour-long lines” and instructions given by election officials, which “made this election day the most chaotic in Arizona’s history.”
Lake has been sharing videos of voters complaining about the problems they faced at polling places on Election Day.
Maricopa County is home to 60 percent of the state’s voters. Only 16 percent of the 1.56 million votes cast in the county were made in person on Election Day.
In a letter to Maricopa County officials, Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Wright demanded answers by Nov. 28, the deadline for certifying the election results.
“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 said.
Wright said the issues are related to “Maricopa County’s ability to lawfully certify election results” and requested a response from the county by Nov. 28.
Last week, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs declared victory. Lake has not conceded yet, and it appears that she will not do so anytime soon, according to her video.
The Associated Press and Allen Stein contributed to this report.