A to Z

The Cochise County supervisors didn’t question election equipment when they won in 2020

By: - November 30, 2022 1:26 pm

An elections worker scans mail in ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Nov. 7, 2022. Photo by Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

The two Republican Cochise County supervisors who have so far refused to certify the Nov. 8 election because of ostensible concerns about the trustworthiness of electronic ballot tabulators weren’t concerned when that same equipment confirmed their electoral victories in 2020.

Supervisors Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd were both elected to the Cochise County Board of Supervisors in 2020, winning competitive Republican primary contests in the August election. Those victories allowed them to advance to the November general election, where both were unopposed.

Those elections both used the same electronic ballot tabulators that Crosby and Judd now say can’t be trusted in the 2022 election. Both have cited those fears — and unfounded claims that the machines haven’t been properly certified — as to why they weren’t able to certify Cochise County’s election results by the Nov. 28 statutory deadline.


Now, the county is being sued to force them to canvass the election, and former top prosecutors say the pair should face felony charges for failing to follow state law.

Lisa Marra, the county’s election director, told the Arizona Mirror that the county purchased the ballot tabulators in 2015, and they were first used in 2016. She said neither Crosby nor Judd have questioned their own elections.

“I’ve had no inquiries from any of them asking about a procedure to remove themselves from office if they aren’t legally elected,” she said.

Crosby and Judd did not respond to messages seeking comment.

It’s unclear whether the concerns the Republican supervisors have voiced about the ballot tabulators are genuine, however. After Crosby and Judd voted to delay certifying the election, Judd undercut that rationale, telling the New York Times that the vote was a protest.

“Our small counties, we’re just sick and tired of getting kicked around and not being respected,” she told the Times, adding that the move was a protest over the election in Maricopa County, where printer problems affected Election Day voters at about 30% of voting sites.

Voters in Maricopa County who were affected couldn’t have their ballots read by polling place tabulators. But they were still able to deposit their completed ballots in a secure box so they could be transported to the county’s central election facility and counted later. There were roughly 17,000 of those ballots, and all were counted. 


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications. He has also served as the editor and executive director of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.