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She left Cochise County elections office amid 'hostile' conditions. Now she's AZ elections director

A year after resigning from Cochise County elections administration, citing a hostile work environment, Lisa Marra has been appointed as Arizona’s highest-ranking unelected elections official. 

Marra left her position as Cochise County elections director in January of 2023 and takes the place of Colleen Connor as state elections director. Marra was appointed by Secretary of State Adrian Fontes.

Conservative Cochise County supervisors wanted to conduct a full hand-count of the county ballots following the 2022 election, but Marra warned it would be illegal to release them from her custody. A judge corroborated that later on, but Marra said the work environment was emotionally and physically threatening. 

She left with a $130,000 settlement from the county and became the deputy director of elections for the state in 2023.

Marra was replaced in Cochise County by David Stevens, who was replaced by Bob Bartelsmeyer, who began his role in May. 

But Bartelsmeyer left by the end of September after social media posts he’d made supporting former President Donald Trump’s allegations of fraud came to light.

Cochise County then brought on Tim Mattix as elections director.

Marra said on X that she and Connor are “still a united front” and wrote that she’s “honored” to serve in the Fontes administration.

Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.