Elections Director in Arizona Quits After Refusing Hand-Count

A remote Arizona GOP county’s elections official who declined to certify the state’s 2022 elections has quit her job.

Election Director Resigns

According to Washington Post, Cochise County’s elected elections director, Lisa Marra, will step down from her position. The county has not yet informed the Guardian that the employee resigned.

On Wednesday, no one could be contacted to get Marra’s opinion.

Since 2017, Marra has been the county’s elections director. She defended Arizona elections vigorously, particularly after 2020, which has drawn criticism from Republicans.

The Post acquired a statement from Marra’s lawyer outlining her resignation. She lamented the objectively challenging and uncomfortable working circumstances and a workplace culture that had become physically and emotionally intimidating.

The resignation came after two Republican county board of supervisors representatives, Peggy Judd and Tom Crosby, demanded a complete hand count of ballots from the November election.

They claimed a hand count may double check voting machine outcomes and voting machine machines were not correctly certificated, an argument that was refuted by state election officials.

While the inspectors and recorders pressed for a hand count, Marra did not think it was necessary or feasible.

Earlier in November, a judge determined that state law prohibited a broad hand count.

The supervisors then resisted certifying the election, necessitating legal action to compel them. Due to his reluctance to certify the election, Crosby is currently the target of a recall campaign by local citizens.

Judd and Crosby recently put off paying Marra’s demand for an independent attorney after she, the supervisors, and the appointed county clerk were sued over the hand count.

Over the course of just a few days, her rushed legal defense cost upwards of $30,000.

The county received a letter from the legal firm that served Marra, warning them that failing to pay the debt could lead to legal action, prompting the board to finally authorize the payment this week after delaying it in December.

The department’s deputy director of elections for the county just left as well. According to the county’s local paper, Martha Rodriguez, who had served the county for 28 years —mostly in elections — retired on January 13.

Election Workers Face Abuse

At a time when election employees are being scrutinized more than ever, which frequently results in bullying and abuse, the two departures leave Cochise County lacking experienced election officials.

In Arizona, where so many poll workers in different regions have resigned in the past year, due to the hostile environment, the field has high turnover both nationally and there as well.

In Yavapai County, which is predominately Republican, the county recorder and elections director both resigned in 2022 as a result of repeated harassment and obstructions related to the 2020 election, which Trump easily won in the county.

Both the recorder and, most recently, the elections director have left Yuma County in the last 12 months.

This article appeared in The Patriot Brief and has been published here with permission.