by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The election was a full month ago, but until Friday, Cochise County, Arizona, officials were still delaying certification of the 2022 election results. And this time, it had nothing to do with Arizona’s inexcusable built-in delays in counting its votes. Only a court order finally forced the issue.
There was nothing wrong with the vote tally in Cochise County. There was nothing wrong with the voting process, either. But Republicans on the county Board of Supervisors are upset at the outcomes at the top of the ticket, where Democrats won the races for governor and senator. If they had or even claimed to have a valid reason for this, these errant county officials would not have been so clearly in the wrong. But they didn’t. Their explanation for their actions revolved around a conspiracy theory about the supposed unreliability of machines that tabulate ballots. There’s no real basis for distrusting the machines. And so they resisted certifying the final tally as long as they could.
It should never have taken a court order for these county officials to do their job. And if Republicans keep acting like this, they won’t hold such jobs for much longer. It is extremely tiresome, and the voters aren’t willing to take much more of it.
Republicans need to make up their minds on whether they want to elect and have their party run by people who will use public office this way — who try to reverse election outcomes even when they aren’t especially close — for there is no valid reason to think anything was untoward in the result. Indeed, in Michigan, several election losers who had indulged former President Donald Trump’s stolen election fantasies of 2020 are now talking about running for chair of their state party. If Arizona is any indication, such people are only capable of running a state party in one direction — into the ground.