Arizona county voted to certify election "under duress"

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The 2022 midterm “election that never ends” in Arizona is still managing to stir up controversies even after the deadline for certifying the election passed yesterday. Maricopa County remains the focus of attention for much of the current clown show. They somehow certified their election results last night, though court challenges are still playing out. But other counties have been witnessing additional drama as well. Mohave County, located in the northwestern corner of the state, is far less densely populated than Maricopa, but their Board of Supervisors raised eyebrows last night when two of the members voted to certify the election results, but only did so “under duress” after they were threatened with jail time if they failed to vote “aye” during the roll call. One of the members raised the obvious question of why they should bother to have a vote if the decision to certify is mandatory. (Just the News)

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Two members of the Mohave County, Ariz., Board of Supervisors on Monday voted to certify the results of the Nov. 8 midterm elections “under duress,” claiming he was forced to do so under threat of jail time.

“I vote ‘aye’ under duress. I found out today that I have no choice but to vote ‘Aye’ or I will be arrested and charged with a felony,” Gould said while casting his vote. “I don’t think that that is what the founders had in mind when they used the democratic process to elect our leaders.”

“I find that very disheartening,” he concluded. Video footage of the vote showed Gould raise his objections. Just the News has sought comment from Gould.

Ron Gould wasn’t the only member to receive such a threat and vote under duress. Hildy Angius also expressed reservations but voted to certify the results. She pointed out that her concerns were not for Mohave County, where she said there had been no issues with the count or the voting machines. She was more upset over the issues in Maricopa County, which she described as being “the laughingstock of the country and the world.”

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Mohave County only has roughly 250,000 people as compared to the many millions in Maricopa, so perhaps it makes sense that their voting might have gone more smoothly. But they somehow managed to have all of their voting machines functioning properly on election day, a feat that Maricopa totally failed to achieve. And nobody seems to be questioning the results of the local races in Mohave either.

Not all of Arizona’s counties were willing to toe the line. Cochise County is located at the opposite end of the state (in the southeast corner) and has an even smaller population than Mohave, at roughly 125,000, and it is being sued for not certifying the vote by the deadline.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs sued a Republican-controlled county Monday after it refused to certify its election results by the state’s statutory deadline.

The lawsuit, filed in Arizona Superior Court, aims to compel the Cochise County Board of Supervisors to certify the county’s results from the Nov. 8 election. The deadline for county certification is Monday.

Similar to Mohave County, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors is not suggesting that their results are in question. They simply preferred to wait until all the bugs are worked out of the results in Maricopa. But the optics of this suit are awful and serve as yet another reason why Katie Hobbs should have recused herself from any involvement in finalizing the election. Hobbs, a Democrat, is now suing a county with a GOP majority running it, trying to force them to certify the gubernatorial election where she has been declared the winner while the results are still being disputed. The entire situation smells toxic.

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Personally, I don’t know how much longer the Maricopa situation can drag on. Kari Lake has put on a spirited fight and raised many valid questions. The massive failures of the voting machines on election day clearly require a full investigation. And it wasn’t an unreasonable assumption to think that the ballots that were submitted in person on election day (and among the last to be counted) should have leaned heavily toward the Republican candidate. But thus far, the expected final surge in Lake’s favor simply hasn’t materialized unless there was some serious and blatant tampering going on.

If there is proof that Kari Lake actually prevailed on November 8th, someone needs to produce it very soon. Otherwise, this situation will drag on interminably, which isn’t going to be good for anyone. But the far more pressing issue is what Arizona can possibly do to fix its electoral process before 2024 so this sort of debacle doesn’t play out for the third time in a row.

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John Stossel 5:30 PM | July 13, 2024
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