Except in Arizona Election Certification Avoids Disruption, certification of the results of this year’s midterm elections appears to be going smoothly across the nation with little controversy, easing concerns that local commissions paralysed by talk of election conspiracies would cause chaos by refusing to validate the will of the voters.
Even in regions where deep-seated doubts about election fairness gave rise to violent conflicts at local public meetings, the situation has remained peaceful. All 17 counties in Nevada reached a deadline on Friday night to certify election results, even though the state has been a hotbed of election conspiracy allegations and campaigns to abandon voting machines in favour of manually tallying all ballots.
Just weeks after challenging the accuracy of voting machines and endorsing manual ballot counting, the county commission in remote Elko County unanimously confirmed the results. The commissioners complimented the county clerk’s post-election audit, which included random hand counts to support the results from machine tabulators. Some commissioners claimed that after watching the audit, some doubts were allayed.
This year, I’ve learnt a lot, stated Commissioner Delmo Andreozzi. And I value everyone’s desire to share knowledge and raise my level of awareness of the entire process. Similar events occurred in New Mexico, where locals have pressured some rural county commissions to reject certification since the state’s primary election in June.
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The general election results in Otero County, where there was a crisis last summer when commissioners first refused certification after the primary, were confirmed this week without incident. In her heart of hearts, Commission Chair Vickie Marquardt said, “I think Otero County does a terrific job.” I have no justification for not certifying this election.
The chamber became silent this week as the all-Republican board scrutinised vote totals and signatures from poll judges in another remote New Mexico county where a furious audience in June called county commissioners “cowards” and “traitors” as they certified the preliminary results. Before voting 3-0 to certify, commissioners, grilled Torrance County election officials with questions.
With a manual recount of the primary ballots and invitations to observe security checks of the ballot-counting equipment, the commission had spent months addressing concerns about voting technologies. “Commissioners, I don’t notice any inconsistencies. Are you? Ryan Schwebach, the Republican commission’s chair, informed his colleagues. With about two-thirds of the vote, he defeated a competitor who claimed that vote-counting computers could not be trusted by winning reelection to the local seat.
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This week, results for all counties in New Mexico except one were certified. Outside an electoral board meeting in Reno, Nevada, conspiracy-minded protestors gathered on Friday with banners stating “Don’t certify beforehand count” and “We the people demand hand count.” The Washoe County Commission decided to certify the results despite the protests, 4-1.
The lone dissenting vote was made by county commissioner Jeanne Herman, who represents the county’s most rural area, which extends north to the Oregon border. She tried unsuccessfully earlier this year to advance a reform plan for the election that included, among other things, stationing National Guard personnel at voting stations and relying almost entirely on paper ballots.
The method worked this year, according to Reno gun control activist Christiane Brown, who told the committee that even the majority of candidates who had accepted the false narratives surrounding the 2020 election conceded. Results cannot be changed by denying them, she insisted. “Lies, misinformation, intimidation, ignorance, and intolerance were all rejected by the populace. The rule of law was upheld, the voters had their say, and the system worked.
The secretary of state must receive the final vote totals from the 15 counties in Arizona by November 28. The counties have only started to certify their election results. The Republican candidate for governor, Kari Lake, has refused to concede and said in a video on Thursday that she is having a team of attorneys look into whether problems with the voting process on Election Day resulted in some voters losing their right to vote.
After hearing from three conspiracy theorists who claim the vote-counting machines are not certified, the two Republicans who control the board in Cochise County, southeast Arizona, postponed their certification on Friday night. The board disregarded the state elections director’s testimony that the claim was fraudulent.
The board said they wanted to see the material and have the three men evaluate it, so they postponed the vote until the deadline of November 28. Kori Lorick, the director of the state’s elections, promised to take legal action “to compel compliance” and make sure that the votes of 46,000 citizens were adequately reported.
On December 5, the state is scheduled to certify the results from all 15 counties, a step that must be taken before the race for state attorney general, which is too close to call, can move on with a recount. According to Arizona law, the elected county boards’ only responsibility is to accept the results as their election departments count them. The secretary of state or a candidate would file a lawsuit if they refused.
When the 2020 presidential election in Michigan, there was a problem with election certification after Trump and his allies put pressure on Republicans on the state certification board and the one for Wayne County, which encompasses Detroit. Final results were confirmed, with Democrat Joe Biden winning the state by 154,000 votes. Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey stated that her office does not foresee any issues with the certification of the general election on November 8. 71 of the state’s 83 counties had certified results by noon on Friday.
Bipartisan canvassing boards around the state are currently certifying the results by state law, according to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “More Michigan citizens cast ballots than ever before in a midterm election,” Benson said.
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“We are hopeful that every canvasser will continue to exhibit this level of professionalism and dedication to upholding the will of the voters.” Sonner wrote his paper in Reno, Nevada. Contributors to this report included Corey Williams in Detroit, Ken Ritter in Las Vegas, Gabe Stern in Reno, and Christina A. Cassidy in Atlanta.
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