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As some red-dominant counties in Arizona delay certifying their midterm election results, Secretary of State-elect Adrian Fontes said the regions’ board of supervisors could be risking “disenfranchising” their own voters if they do not certify their ballots in time.

During an interview with MSNBC Tuesday evening, Fontes, a Democrat, said that he believed this year’s election, which has been challenged by Republican candidates across the state, went “well,” with a few “bumps and bruises here and there.”

“No election is perfect and real election administrators understand this,” Fontes said. “But when you’re dealing with not reality and fantasy and conspiracy theories, every little possible inconvenience becomes sort of this epic voter suppression, which is just nonsense.”

An elections worker carries trays filled with mail-in ballots to open and verify at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on November 11, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona. Two counties in the state have decided to delay certifying their election results as a “political statement” against the tabulation machine issues experienced in Maricopa on Election Day.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In protest of the tabulation machine issues experienced in Maricopa County on Election Day, two Republican-strong counties have decided to delay certifying their midterm votes. The board of supervisors in Mohave County in northwest Arizona has agreed to certify its votes on the November 28 deadline as a “political statement,” reported the Associated Press (AP).

Supervisors in Cochise County in the southeast region of the state also decided to delay certifying its votes and made no promise to do so.

According to AP, if Cochise does not certify its election results by December 5—the new deadline issued by state Election Director Kori Lorick on Monday—the board risks having all of its county’s votes go uncounted.

“Unfortunately, the disenfranchisement is going to come from those folks and, look, that will hand a couple of these statewide offices very handily to Democrats,” Fontes said in regards to Cochise County’s delay.

Fontes noted that some regions, like Arizona’s 6th Congressional District, where Representative-elect Juan Ciscomani beat his Democratic challenger by just over 5,000 votes, could be at risk of flipping blue if Cochise County is not counted.

According to AP’s report, Republicans earned as much as 60 percent of the rural county’s vote. Cochise County’s unofficial results show that over 47,000 ballots were cast in this year’s election, including 11,994 same-day voters.

“This is dangerous territory that they’re playing with,” Fontes said. “And again, it’s all based on this nonsensical big lie … These folks have a statutory duty to protect the voters, to protect the vote that these people cast.”

Some Arizona Republican candidates have also refused to concede after the GOP lost in the state’s top four races, alleging that in-person Republican voters were disenfranchised in Maricopa County due to Election Day mishaps.

Kari Lake, the GOP gubernatorial nominee who has also backed former President Donald Trump‘s unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, posted a statement Monday that she would “continue fighting” in what she called a “botched and broken election.” Lake, who has not conceded, lost to Governor-elect and current Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

Fontes’ Republican challenger Mark Finchem, joining Lake as another Trump-endorsed candidate who lost, has also refused to concede in the secretary of state race.

On Monday, Democrat Kris Mayes finished ahead of Republican Abraham Hamadeh for Arizona’s attorney general. The race is expected to require a recount before her victory is certified.

Newsweek has reached out to Cochise County’s board of supervisors for comment.

Arizona Counties Delaying Certification Could “hand” Dems Victory: Fontes – UK Prime News

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