Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes is suing Cochise County for giving its recorder near-full control over the county’s elections, according to a lawsuit Mayes filed Tuesday.
Mayes believes that, when agreeing last week to give Recorder David Stevens the authority to run the county’s elections, the county supervisors weren’t clear enough that they still have the final say over certain decisions, according to the Arizona Superior Court complaint.
State law requires the supervisors to approve decisions such as where to put voting centers and who to hire to work the polls, for example, and they must also finalize election results.
In a statement Tuesday, Mayes equated the agreement to an “unqualified handover” that could give Stevens the potential to cloak future changes to the county’s elections from the public.
“I am deeply concerned this move might shield or obscure actions and deliberations the Board would typically conduct publicly under open meeting law,” Mayes wrote.
Already, Mayes is investigating potential violations of the state’s open meetings law related to the board’s election administration decisions over the past several months, according to letters her office sent the supervisors last week.