Despite bold prognostications by the media of a gushing red wave, the Republicans wound up being the big losers of the midterms. Although the GOP managed to take the House, as was widely expected, it was only by a seven-seat margin. Thanks to two Arizona Republicans’ apparent desire to want to cut off their party’s nose to spite its face, as the saying goes, that slim majority remained at risk of shrinking.
The Board of Supervisors for Cochise County, Arizona, deliberately ignored its November 28 deadline to certify votes. Two of the three supervisors, Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd, are Republicans who have crafted a resume filled with election denialism, as The Arizona Republic details, and voted against certification. Their actions led the third supervisor, Board Chair Ann English, who is a Democrat, to ask rhetorically, “How many times do you have to willfully not follow the law?”
In an interview with the New York Times, Judd “acknowledged” that the failure to certify “was mostly a pretext” for protesting Maricopa County’s certification following debunked claims of voting issues there. In the meantime, these Republican supervisors’ actions in Cochise County only served to threaten a GOP seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
If Cochise County’s certification were not to have happened by December 8, its approximately 47,000 votes wouldn’t be included in the state totals. That omission would mean Arizona’s 6th Congressional District, where Republican Juan Ciscomani unofficially won by 5,232 votes, would go to the Democrat, Kirsten Engel. Cochise County’s defiance would also flip the state Superintendent of Public Instruction from Republican to Democrat, according to analysis by Bloomberg.
Given this situation, the Arizona Secretary of State sued to compel Cochise County to certify its votes. That person is, of course, none other than Katie Hobbs, the Democrat who was just elected governor after having run against election denier Kari Lake, who still refuses to concede. On Thursday, in response to Hobbs, a state judge ordered the Board of Supervisors to certify the county’s votes, which they did, 2-0 (with Judd reluctantly joining English while Crosby skipped the meeting).
“Today’s court decision was a win for Arizona’s democracy and ensures that all Arizonans will have their votes counted,” Hobbs tweeted. Hobbs pursued this course of action because she believes in democracy and it’s her job—regardless of whether a particular action benefits her party. Republicans can learn a lesson here.