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Carter Center Statement on Cochise Certification Delays

The Carter Center is concerned by the decision of the Cochise County Board of Supervisors to delay certification of the county election results, which has the potential to disenfranchise the 47,284 county residents who voted in the 2022 midterm election.

The Center urges the board to canvass the election by Nov. 28, in accordance with state law.

At a Nov. 18 meeting to canvass the results, the board heard from members of the public who claimed that the vote tabulation equipment had not been certified by a properly accredited lab. The state election director gave testimony refuting these claims. The board of supervisors nevertheless decided to delay certification until unspecified individuals with knowledge of the process can provide assurances that the equipment was properly certified.

Under Arizona state law, bipartisan expert teams are already part of the established procurement process. Furthermore, the U.S. Electoral Assistance Commission website shows that SLI Compliance, which certified the tabulation equipment, is an appropriately accredited federal lab whose accreditation was reconfirmed in February 2021.

Arizona law does not give county boards of supervisors the authority to redress citizen complaints about the electoral process. Such complaints must be filed with the state attorney general, the secretary of state, the Department of Justice or in the courts.

Background: The Carter Center is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization that has observed more than 110 elections in 39 countries. It is conducting a pilot nonpartisan election observation project in Arizona, sending observers to witness the parts of the electoral process that are open to nonpartisan observers and analyzing publicly available information. It observed the Nov. 18 meeting in Cochise County.

Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.