Two GOP officials in rural Arizona are facing criminal charges for delaying the certification of the 2022 election results, as declared by the state’s top prosecutor on Wednesday.
A state grand jury has issued an indictment against Peggy Suzanne Judd, 61, from Willcox, and Terry Thomas “Tom” Crosby, 64, from Sierra Vista, accusing them of felony offenses related to Interference with an Election Officer and Conspiracy.
Both Judd and Crosby currently hold positions as supervisors in Cochise County, situated along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The repeated attempts to undermine our democracy are unacceptable,” Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat, said in a statement Wednesday.
“I took an oath to uphold the rule of law, and my office will continue to enforce Arizona’s elections laws and support our election officials as they carry out the duties and responsibilities of their offices,” he added.
The indictment, filed on Monday in Maricopa County Superior Court, claims that between Oct. 11 and Dec. 1, 2022, Judd and Crosby collaborated to delay the canvass of votes in Cochise County for the November election.
Prosecutors assert that Judd and Crosby deliberately disrupted the Arizona Secretary of State’s capacity to finalize the statewide canvass for the 2022 election by preventing the canvassing of votes from Cochise County within the timeframe mandated by Arizona law.
Dennis Wilenchik, Crosby’s attorney, called the indictment “nothing but political partisanship.” In a statement, he assured a vigorous defense against what he deemed baseless charges.
“The conspiracy is solely based on an alleged ‘agreement’ to interfere that is nonexistent, as there was none,” said Wilenchik, who also referred to the interference charge as “nonsensical.”
Jane Montgomery, the spokesperson for Cochise County, chose not to provide a comment to the Associated Press regarding the indictment. However, she did confirm that both supervisors will be handling their own legal representation.
The indictment represents a rare instance case of pursuing criminal charges against individuals linked to the vote canvassing in six Arizona counties last year.
In December 2022, Cochise County finalized election results only after a judge declared that Crosby and Judd, both Republicans, were violating the law by declining to approve the vote count within the stipulated deadline.
Crosby and Judd expressed dissatisfaction, stating they weren’t convinced that the ballot tabulation machines had the proper certification for election use. This led to legal action, including a lawsuit filed by then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat.
Following the judge’s order, Judd aligned with Ann English, the lone Democrat on the three-member board, to vote for the certification of the election. Crosby was absent from that meeting.
Judd and Crosby both were subpoenaed to court earlier this month. English was not subpoenaed or indicted.
Back then, Judd and Crosby informed the Associated Press that they had no clue about the reason behind their subpoenas.
“I don’t feel like I broke a law. But, obviously the courts had different feelings,” Judd said.
In the previous year, election results were certified without issue across the majority of the country. However, in Arizona, the six counties hesitated to meet the certification deadline due to pressure from certain Republicans. Consequently, Democrats ended up winning the U.S. Senate, governor, and other statewide races, transforming the state into a swing state.
Arizona has witnessed numerous election controversies since President Biden was declared the winner in 2020, marking him as the second Democrat in seven decades to secure victory in the state.
Share your thoughts by scrolling down to leave a comment.