Republicans in Arizona, Pennsylvania counties decline to confirm midterm election results

Republican officials in two counties in Arizona and Pennsylvania on Monday declined to confirm their midterm election results, citing some concerns about the integrity of the voting system that have become commonplace among conservatives.

Republicans on the electoral boards of Cochise County, Arizona, and Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, voted against motions to confirm the results of those elections.

Although Cochise County residents voted for GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake and GOP Senate nominee Blake Masters, both candidates ultimately lost their statewide races.

Luzerne County residents voted for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro and GOP Senate nominee Mehmet Oz, with Shapiro ultimately winning his bid and Oz falling short statewide.

Monday’s vote in Cochise could jeopardize the certification of more than 47,000 votes and expose the county to lawsuits.

At Monday’s meeting, Supervisor Tom Crosby proposed deferring the submitted certification until Friday, a motion supported by his colleague Peggy Judd.

“This agenda of the meeting should have provided for interaction between subject matter experts at voting machines and representatives of the Office of the Secretary of State,” he said.

Ann English, CEO and Democrat, disagreed, insisting that there was “no reason for us to hesitate” and that “we have heard more than once from each person how they feel about certifying machines”.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano addresses supporters during a campaign rally November 2, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake salutes supporters at a campaign rally November 7, 2022 in Phoenix.

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“I feel like you both have the information needed to make this decision, which is not a discretionary one on our part, to validate the choice for Cochise County, regardless of how you feel about events in Think Maricopa or Pima or Mohave or Apache. We’re here to talk about Cochise County and our election,” she said.

In a follow-up statement to ABC News, English said she believed “it was unlawful for the board not to confirm the election in accordance with the bylaws.”

“It’s particularly troubling to me when the other board members accept unsubstantiated ideas and unverified claims as fact, rather than relying on the Arizona State Elections Bureau to tell us the machines have been certified,” she said. “Cochise County had an election with no issues and our machine count and hand count matched 100%. We had no issues and all of these claims are just great.”

Arizona emerged as an epicenter of electoral misconduct lawsuits in the midterm cycle, with Republican candidates addressing printer problems in Maricopa County, where Phoenix and about 60% of Arizona’s population live. Local officials have insisted the problems did not prevent voters from counting ballots, though Lake continued to claim the problems cost them their support.

Maricopa County officials voted unanimously Monday to confirm their county’s results.

Neither Crosby nor Judd immediately responded to requests for comment on their voices.

In Luzerne County, two Republican members of the Election Committee voted against confirming the midterm results, two Democrats voted to confirm, and one Democratic member abstained.

Luzerne County faced a ballot shortage on Election Day, but polling hours were extended to ensure all ballots could be cast.

The Lucerne district manager announced his resignation the day after the election.

“There has been enough irregularities and inconsistencies and enough disenfranchisement of disenfranchised voters in this county that I don’t see how we could possibly proceed without seriously considering re-voting,” said James Magna, vice chairman of the Election Committee, a Republican , according to ABC affiliate WNEP.

“We went through everything meticulously right up to the votes, which means all the anomalies were explained pretty well. And that was because of the confusion in the election because of paper shortages,” added Democratic MP Audrey Serniak.

Daniel Schramm, the abstaining Democrat, said: “My feeling is that I needed a little more information.”

It’s unclear how the county will proceed, although the state could step in. The Pennsylvania State Department told ABC News in a statement that it had reached out to Luzerne County officials “to inquire about the board’s decision and their intended next steps.”

Schramm said later Monday that he would next vote to certify the results after receiving answers to his specific questions, according to WNEP.

It’s traditionally rare for a county to decline to confirm elections, although speculation surfaced ahead of the midterms that local Republican officials might be pushing to do so as belief in widespread voter fraud and electoral abuse grows within the GOP, spurred by former President Donald Trump unfounded attacks on the 2020 election he lost to Joe Biden.

The troubles aren’t expected to stop election winners from getting a seat, though the moves open the counties to litigation with prominent attorney Marc Elias Warning of upcoming lawsuits.

Officials from the Arizona and Pennsylvania secretaries of state did not respond to requests for comment.

ABC News’ Brittany Shepherd and Oren Oppenheim contributed to this report.