Ariz. County GOP Officials Who Refused to Certify Shady 2022 Election Are Indicted


(Headline USA) Officials in a rural Arizona county who delayed canvassing the 2022 general election results have been criminally charged, the state’s top prosecutor said Wednesday.

A grand jury in Maricopa County Superior Court has indicted Cochise County supervisors Peggy Judd and Tom Crosby on one count each of conspiracy and interference of an election officer.

“The repeated attempts to undermine our democracy are unacceptable,” Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat, said in a statement.

“I took an oath to uphold the rule of law, and my office will continue to enforce Arizona’s elections laws and support our election officials as they carry out the duties and responsibilities of their offices,” Mayes dubiously claimed, despite widespread concerns that the Democrat was weaponizing the justice system against political opponents.

Arizona’s elections were highly irregular in 2022 after reports of long voter lines in Maricopa County due to malfunctioning machines. Then Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the Democrat official overseeing the election, was also the gubernatorial candidate who stood to gain the most from the fiasco.

Maricopa officials took an exceedingly long time to count the ballots after most other states had completed their counts. And in Cochise County and elsewhere, razor-thin margins also made the difference between Mayes’s disputed victory and that of GOP candidate Abe Hamadeh.

Ultimately, it was the threats of legal action that forced the candidates to certify the election under duress for Mayes and Hobbs.

Dennis Wilenchik, an attorney for Crosby, called the indictment “nothing but political partisanship.” In a statement, he promised a vigorous defense for what he called baseless charges.

“The conspiracy is solely based on an alleged ‘agreement’ to interfere that is nonexistent, as there was none,” said Wilenchik, who also referred to the interference charge as “nonsensical.”

Judd did not respond to requests via text and email for comment.

Jane Montgomery, spokesperson for Cochise County, declined to comment. She confirmed both supervisors will be responsible for their own legal representation.

The indictment marks a rare instance of criminally prosecuting people connected to the vote canvassing being dragged out last year in six Arizona counties.

In December 2022, Cochise County certified election results only after a judge ruled Crosby and Judd, both Republicans, were breaking the law by refusing to sign off on the vote count by the deadline.

Crosby and Judd said they weren’t satisfied that the machines used to tabulate ballots were properly certified for use in elections. This prompted lawsuits including one from Hobbs.

After the judge’s order, Judd joined Ann English, the lone Democrat on the three-member board, in voting to certify the election. Crosby did not attend that meeting.

Judd and Crosby both were subpoenaed to court earlier this month. English was not subpoenaed or indicted.

At the time, Judd and Crosby told the Associated Press they had no idea why they were being subpoenaed. Crosby was shocked.

“I don’t feel like I broke a law. But, obviously the courts had different feelings,” Judd said.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press