Arizona election deniers indicted for holding up midterm results

A state grand jury voted to indict two local officials who delayed the certification of midterm election results in 2022 in Cochise County, Arizona, state Attorney General Kris Mayes said Wednesday.

Cochise County Supervisors Peggy Judd, 61, and Tom Crosby, 64, voted against certifying the county’s election results by the statutory deadline last year after months of having cast baseless doubt on the integrity of the election. The county certified its election results only after a court ordered it to do so.

The indictment alleges that Judd and Crosby committed two felonies by conspiring to delay the certification of election results and interfering with the secretary of state’s statewide canvass. Both are Class 5 felonies, which can carry prison terms of 6 months to 2½ years.

Cochise County District 3 Supervisor Peggy Judd. Cochise County “The repeated attempts to undermine our democracy are unacceptable,” Mayes, a Democrat, said in a statement.

While each state’s election laws differ, local officials’ stamp of approval is often required during the election certification process across the country.

If Cochise hadn’t certified its results by the statewide deadline and the state had been forced to affirm its election results without including the Republican county’s 47,000 votes, Republican Rep. Juan Ciscomani would have lost his race for the U.S. House.

The fight in Cochise County began well before the election, as Judd and Crosby cast baseless doubt on the voting machines and sought to do a hand count of all the ballots, which state law doesn’t permit. The pair also sued the county elections director, Lisa Marra, who later quit her job after five years running the county’s elections.

Judd participated in the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally in 2021 but denied entering the U.S. Capitol or any wrongdoing in an interview with the Tucson Sentinel. The paper also reported that she has spread conspiracy theories online.

She and Crosby are the latest Republicans to face criminal charges related to election denialism. They didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

More than a dozen Republicans who agreed to serve as fake electors to the Electoral College in 2020 have also been charged in Georgia and Michigan.

CORRECTION (Nov. 29, 2023, 8:25 p.m. ET): A photo caption on a previous version of this article misstated who indicted Judd and Crosby. It was a state Superior Court grand jury, not a federal grand jury.

Jane C. Timm

Jane C. Timm is a senior reporter for NBC News.

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