In a significant development in Arizona's political landscape, Peggy Judd and Terry Thomas "Tom" Crosby, two Republican members of the Cochise County election board, stand indicted by a state grand jury. The charges, announced by Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, stem from their alleged failure to comply with the legal deadline to certify the November 2022 midterm election results. This case has shone a spotlight on the ongoing challenges in Arizona, a key battleground state where the legitimacy of election processes is continually questioned by some officials and GOP candidates.
The indictment, which includes felony charges for interference with an election officer and conspiracy, suggests that Judd and Crosby conspired to delay the canvass of votes, thereby interfering with the statewide canvass. Their actions, which began to be investigated in summer, have raised concerns about the affirmation of the state's election outcomes, including Republican victories in a U.S. House seat and the statewide race for schools superintendent.
Impact on the Electorate
By allegedly refusing to meet the state's legal deadline for certifying the 2022 midterm elections, Judd and Crosby risked the votes of more than 47,000 people. This delay triggered alarms among election watchers nationwide, sparking fears that such moves could encourage those casting doubts on election results to disrupt future certification processes and put more votes at risk.
Aftermath of the Delay
Following the belated certification of the election results, which came after a court order, Arizona's secretary of state's office called for an investigation into Crosby and Judd. Crosby, notably, skipped this court-ordered meeting. The Cochise County board did eventually vote to certify the results, but this only happened after a judge's order. This case highlights the need for the rule of law to be upheld, as emphasized by Mayes, who vowed to continue enforcing Arizona's election laws and supporting election officials in their duties.