Last Updated on December 4, 2022
Arizona’s Democrat Secretary of State and Governor-elect Katie Hobbs’ office threatened to arrest the Mohave County Board of Supervisors if they opted not to certify the 2022 election by Monday’s deadline, according to documents obtained by The Daily Caller. The board initially opted to withhold certification in protest of the numerous election irregularities that plagued Maricopa County.
Arizona State Elections Director Kori Lorick wrote several letters and emails to members of the board, threatening that they would be prosecuted if they refused to certify the results by the deadline. The correspondence also included threats of lawsuits for “nonfeasance.”
“The Secretary of State did contact our County and cited A.R.S. Section 16-1010 as a statute that could be used to prosecute [the board] if they did not certify the election,” Matt Smith, the Mohave County attorney, told The Daily Caller. The statute is an Arizona felony regarding election officials who “fail to perform their duties” and could carry up to two years in prison for those convicted.
“The threat of legal action, including personally, came from the Arizona State Elections Director [Kori Lorick],” the board’s chair-elect Supervisor Travis Linginfelter said.
“Our office will take all legal action necessary to ensure that Arizona’s voters have their votes counted, including referring the individual supervisors who vote not to certify for criminal enforcement under A.R.S. 16-1010,” Lorick wrote in an email to the board. Governor-elect Hobbs oversaw her own election under her position of secretary of state, prompting controversy.
Republican members of the Mohave County board intended, like a number of additional Arizona counties, to hold hearings on numerous election irregularities that plagued the state’s largest county on election day. A “printer error,” according to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, led to close to a quarter of election day voting machines to go offline. The issue ultimately affected more than 17,000 ballots, which the board claims were counted.
Several poll workers and other election officials testified about the widespread errors during a hearing in Maricopa County. One poll worker testified that due to error-induced long wait times, scores of voters were forced to leave and were thus unable to cast their votes.
The Maricopa County poll worker stated that over 500 voters were “disenfranchised” at his polling place alone.
In addition, he discussed widespread confusion regarding proper check-in/check-out procedures at the polls. Due to the wait times, many voters were directed to other polling places were machines were operational. But since they were not checked out properly, due to what the poll worker blamed on poor training from the county, scores of votes were not counted.
In Mohave County, Lorick also sent a letter to the board saying they would be “disenfranchising” their voters if they opted not to certify. The letter, which was obtained by the Daily Caller, states that the board “has a non-discretionary duty to canvass the returns of the election,” and that a failure to do so “will only serve to disenfranchise that county’s voters.”
Mohave County was one of several Arizona counties that asked for more time to review the election results, though they are the only one that appears to have been threatened by Hobbs’ office.