/ Modified apr 2, 2024 6:39 p.m.

Former Clerk of the Board takes helm of Cochise County's elections department

Tim Mattix will be Cochise County's new elections director

Ballot Verify AP An election worker verifies a ballot on a screen inside the Maricopa County Recorders Office, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, in Phoenix. On Friday, Dec. 2, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly claiming Arizona’s Maricopa County announced that more than 540,000 voters visited voting centers on Election Day and that only 248,000 Election Day ballots were counted. Therefore, the county “lost” some 292,000 votes.
AP Photo/Matt York

Tim Mattix was appointed by County Administrator Richard Karwaczka as the new Elections Director of Cochise County.

Mattix is no stranger to the county, serving most recently as the Clerk of the Board and as the deputy clerk before that.

According to a press release, Mattix has more than 20 years of experience in election administration positions in Dewey-Humboldt, Tempe, and Marana.

He will start in his position at the end of the month with a salary of $90 thousand.

This is the third elections director the county has had this year. Lisa Marra resigned from the position in January, calling the county’s conduct “physically and emotionally threatening.” Marra later received a $130,000 settlement payout from the county.

Bob Bartlesmeyer took the helm of the county elections department in April, but faced criticism from some of the public over social media posts he made about the 2020 election. Bartlesmeyer resigned from his position last month in order to return to his prior position as Elections Director of La Paz County.


Former Cochise County Elections Director Lisa Marra submitted her resignation on January after Crosby and board Chair Peggy Judd filed a lawsuit in an attempt to coerce her to conduct an expanded hand-count audit of the 2022 General Election. Marra later received a $130,000 settlement payout. In a letter sent to the county from Marra's attorney announcing her resignation, the county's conduct was described as “physically and emotionally threatening.”

The board delayed certifying the election past the state's deadline, which led to a lawsuit filed against the board by then Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. After a Pima County judge ordered the board to certify the election, the board convened in an emergency meeting to certify the results in December.

In February this year, the board voted 2-1 to approve an agreement with the Cochise County Recorder to have the County Recorder act as the Interim Elections Director. This agreement led to a lawsuit filed by Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, who raised concerns that the agreement would inappropriately give nearly all elections powers and duties to the County Recorder when those duties are bestowed to the board of supervisors under Arizona law.

Ultimately, a Santa Cruz County judge ruled against the Attorney General's argument, and thus, allowed the county supervisors to keep their agreement with the County Recorder.

Stevens, while in his role as Interim Elections Director, ran the county's May 16 special election that asked voters to respond to the question of adding a temporary half-cent sales tax to fund a new county jail.

Stevens also appointed Bartelsmeyer as a replacement for the Elections Director position. Bartelsmeyer was previously the Elections Director in La Paz County.

Since then, Cochise County was sued by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which claimed that Bartelsmeyer permitted a citizen's initiative to submit petition signatures in an attempt to remove the Douglas Active Management Area (AMA) in two batches, not all at once, which is prohibited. The county later pulled the initiative from the ballot after the errors in the filing process were discovered, and EDF voluntarily withdrew their lawsuit.

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