PHOENIX (AP) — The board overseeing a southeastern Arizona A county where Republican leaders had hoped all could be recounted Election Day ballots on Friday delayed certifying the results of last week’s vote after hearing from a trio of conspiracy theorists who alleged that counting machines were not certified.

These men or some combination thereof have filed at most four cases raising similar claims prior to the hearing. Arizona Supreme Court since 2021 seeking to have the state’s 2020 election results thrown out. They were all dismissed because of lack of evidence, waiting too long to be certified, or asking the court for severe language.

However, Tom Rice and Brian Steiner managed to convince the Cochise Republicans to let Daniel Wood in. County Board of Supervisors deemed their claims valid enough to defer certification until Nov. 28 deadline.

They claimed that the U.S. The Elections Assistance Commission permitted certifications for testing companies lapse. This voids certifications of voter tabulation equipment that was used in the state.

That came despite testimony from the state’s elections director that the machines and the testing company were indeed certified.

“The equipment used in Cochise County is properly certified under both federal and state laws and requirements,” Kori Lorick, Director of State Elections, addressed the board. “The claims that the SLI testing labs were not properly accredited are false.”

The move is the latest drama in the Republican-heavy county in recent weeks, which started when GOP board members Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd voted to have all the ballots in last week’s election counted by hand to determine if the machine counts were accurate.

Crosby also defends a lawsuit that Judd and he filed against the county elections chief earlier in the week to force the hand-count. On Wednesday, Lisa Marra was dropped by the defendants.

“If our presenters’ request is met by the proof that our machines are indeed legally and lawfully accredited, then indeed we should accept the results,” Crosby stated. “However, if the machines have not been lawfully certificated, then the converse is also true. We cannot verify this election now.”

Crosby, Judd and others voted to delay certification. Crosby said he believed Wood, Steiner, and Rice had to be proven they were certified. “the experts.”

Ann English, Democratic Supervisor, was unable to rule them.

This delay could affect state certification which is scheduled for Dec. 5 and at least one statewide count.

Lorick released a statement following the vote pledging legal action to force Board members to accept the results. Below Arizona law the formal election canvass can’t be changed by the elected county boards — their only role is to accept the numbers as they are tallied by their elections departments.

“If they fail to do so, the Secretary (of State) will use all available legal remedies to compel compliance with Arizona law and protect Cochise County voters’ rights to have their votes counted,” Lorick added.

All 15 Arizona Each county faces the Nov. 28 deadline. However, there are no signs that other countries may be considering similar defiance.

After Dec. 5th, the state will issue a certification. There will be a recount for at least one race in the state.

The race between Republican Abraham Hamadeh, and Democrat Chris Mayes, for attorney general is so close that a recount seems certain. Mayes was just 600 votes ahead of Abraham Hamadeh, with less ballots left to be counted that the margin for a mandatory recall, which will be approximately 12,500 votes, as of Friday night.

“It’s going to be close, and every vote matters,” In a short interview, Mayes stated. “And obviously we’re headed into a recount, one way or another.”

A second statewide race is also in play, but the incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman agreed to a recount on Thursday. Horne, a former school chief who was attorney general for two years before losing the 2014 primary, is now a Republican. He had more than 9000 votes in front of him on Friday.

Horne criticised Hoffman’s embrace of progressive teaching and promised that he would shut down any hint at “critical race theory,” This subject is not taught in public schools, but it is a hot topic for social conservatives.

Judd said Wednesday that she would make arrangements to allow the state recount.

“We’ve had to step back from everything we were trying to do and say, OK, we’ve got to let this play out,” Judd said so to The Associated Press. “Because it’s the last thing we want to do to get in (Marra’s) way.”

There has been no evidence of widespread fraud or manipulation of voting machines in 2020 or during this year’s midterm elections.

Arizona Recount laws were updated this year. Prior to this year’s changes, the margin for a mandatory recount was 1/100th of 1%. It now stands at 0.5%.