Arizona County Fights 'Fraud' With Threat To Disenfranchise Own (Republican) Voters
Monday was the deadline for Arizona's 15 counties to certify the results of the November 8 election, and all but one county managed to do that very basic job of democracy. But Republicans in Cochise County, in the southeast corner of the state, refused to certify their own county's results, because even though the county went heavily for Republican candidates as it always does, what about those Hugo Chavez voting machines that tabulated the heavy vote for Republicans?
Both Republicans on the three-member Board of Supervisors voted to delay certifying the election results until at least Friday, when they'll meet again to consider whether to let their constituents' votes count. That prompted the Arizona Secretary of State's office and a citizens group to file lawsuits aimed at requiring the board to certify the vote by Thursday, to ensure the certification would be ready for the next normal step in the process, the December 5 statewide vote canvass.
As Tucson TV station KGUN explains, the Republicans just really want to be sure all their questions about the integrity of the voting machines are answered, we guess by some conspiracy theorists who have been insisting since 2020 that voting machines are all rigged. The Secretary of State's office and the Cochise County elections director say the machines are in fact certified accurate, but some self-proclaimed "experts" like this one guy Michael Shafer say nuh-uh, and they say it loudly. Schafer told KGUN that before the election can be certified, the county needs to do two things:
"One would be to be doing a full hand count on this election to compare the results with what the machines produced. Because there's a lot of people that are concerned that the machines can be changing the results of the elections."
Schafer is a guy who shows up at supervisors meetings and says he has a lab and knows all about this stuff, although his lab is apparently not accredited to check voting machines. His company does seem to have done some kind of compliance testing for the Federal Communication Commission, which surely makes him an expert on all electronics.
The Cochise supervisors had originally sought to audit all the county's votes by hand, but a state court put the kibosh on that plan because obviously the courts and Arizona election law hate freedom. The lawsuit the state filed yesterday warned that state law requires certification of elections by December 8, regardless of whether all counties have done their damn jobs:
Absent this Court’s intervention, the Secretary will have no choice but to complete the statewide canvass by December 8 without Cochise County’s votes included. Thus, the Board’s inaction not only violates the plain language of the statute, but also undermines a basic tenet of free and fair elections in this state: ensuring that every Arizonan’s voice is heard.
If things actually went that far, that could even mean some statewide election results might be changed, since the totals wouldn't include the heavily Republican vote from Cochise County. CNN explains:
If votes from this Republican stronghold somehow went uncounted, it could flip two races to Democrats: the contest for state superintendent and a congressional race in which Republican Juan Ciscomani already has been projected as the winner by CNN and other outlets.
That would really get the crazies fired up, even though it would be the Republican commissioners' fault.
The lone Democrat on the Cochise County board, Supervisor Ann English, voted against delaying certification, pointing out that the supervisors already had plenty of information to show the vote was valid.
Besides, she noted, the board had a duty to certify election results by Monday and voting "no" was not an option.
”I’m not surprised," she said of the litigation. "We’ve been told, people will sue you if you don’t follow the law.”
A similar fuck-tussle arose in Mohave County in the northwest of the state, where supervisors initially couldn't bring themselves to certify their county's votes, although this time they wanted to delay certifying to protest nonexistent election badness in Maricopa County. Once the county attorney made clear to them that refusing to certify the election could disenfranchise Mohave County voters, they voted 4-0 to certify, although they were mad about it. Supervisor Ron Gould got very dramatic about the injustice of having to do his job as prescribed by law:
"I vote aye under duress,” Gould said. “I found out today that I have no choice but to vote aye or I’ll be arrested and charged with a felony. I don’t think that’s what our founders had in mind when they used the democratic process to elect our leaders, our form of self-governance. I find that very disheartening.”
Also too, as Wonkette's Stephen Robinson noted earlier, Maricopa County's Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to certify election results, but only after a bunch of the usual election liars showed up to pronounce doom on their heads, including this nice lady who explained they should all be executed for treason, which we suspect is not actually how the law works.
\u201cAlso at the Maricopa County meeting, an election denier addressed the board of supervisors as "traitors," and accused the board of interfering in an election. She says that is a capital offense, punishable by death. (part 1)\u201d— johnknefel (@johnknefel) 1669660019
The nice lady also explained that the 2022 election needed to be run all over again, but not by elected state or county officials, because they're all traitors who printed up illegal ballots to rig the election, and that if her simple but completely illegal request were denied, it would be just like JFK said: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." Although she substituted "necessary" for "inevitable" and we're fairly certain JFK wasn't talking about elections that simply didn't go the way wingnuts wanted.
Then again, what did the imaginary JFK that lady made up in her brain know anyway?
[Reuters / Arizona Republic / NBC News / KGUN-TV / CNN / Arizona Public Media / Photo by "Pan Yongzhi,"' Creative Commons License 2.5]
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