Officials in a rural Arizona county who delayed canvassing the 2022 general election results have been criminally charged. A grand jury in Maricopa County Superior Court indicted Cochise County supervisors Peggy Judd and Tom Crosby on one count each of conspiracy and interference of an election officer, reports the Associated Press. "The repeated attempts to undermine our democracy are unacceptable," said Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat. "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." 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 then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat. Judd and Crosby both were subpoenaed to court this month. At the time, Judd and Crosby said 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. Last year, election results were certified without issue throughout most of the U.S. In Arizona, six counties hesitated to meet the certification deadline amid pressure from Republicans. Democrats won U.S. Senate, governor, and other statewide races in what has become a swing state.