Judge Tosses GOP Attempt To Nullify Arizona Midterm Election Results

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An Arizona judge has dismissed a lawsuit from Arizona Republican candidate for state Attorney General Abe Hamadeh, who available results indicate finished behind Democratic candidate Kris Mayes by a little over 500 votes.

As summarized by the voting rights organization Democracy Docket, the judge concluded Hamadeh’s lawsuit was filed too early since the state’s results were yet to be finalized. County-level canvassing already took place in most locales (although the majority-Republican county board in Cochise County refused to certify their local results amid baseless election integrity concerns, leading to litigation), but state-level certification still remains. The judge concluded that Hamadeh wasn’t blocked from filing litigation once the required time has passed, however, adding he didn’t need to wait for the mandatory recount of the race that will be taking place because of the close margin under half of a percentage point. Hamadeh argued — without much in terms of substantive evidence — a significant number of voters saw their choices essentially undone through supposed problems, like errors in transposing selections from ballots unable to be scanned.

At least initially, Hamadeh didn’t cite a single piece of evidence showing that such happened in this year’s elections in Arizona. He was instead presenting assumptions based on other circumstances he wanted taken as applicable here, and he also sought a court finding he was the winner of the race. “In support, they cite only a purported statistic from a different election (in 2020),” Mayes noted in court of Hamadeh’s allegations about errors in handling unreadable ballots. “Plaintiffs allege no facts and cite no evidence of any issues from this election.” The GOP contender also alleged that a hand count audit revealed a single instance in which an entity called the Maricopa County Electronic Adjudication Board misrepresented a voter’s intent and contended that similar problems affected the bulk of the adjudication process despite no clear evidence. The process that board handles is for dealing with ballots in which the individual voter’s intent when marking their ballot isn’t clear.

Hamadeh also challenged the procedures for verifying voters’ signatures, although the process used for the 2022 elections traces back to rules established in 2019 — and it’s only now he was bringing this complaint. He also alleged that hundreds of voters cast ballots that unfairly went uncounted because they went to a second polling place on Election Day supposedly without being properly checked out at the first. In Maricopa County, problems on Election Day with the printing and scanning of ballots predicated some voters heading someplace else to cast a ballot. Those encountering these problems could also leave their ballots in a secured bin for further tabulation later, a process that county authorities indicated has been in place roughly in its present form since the 1990s, which undercuts the idea of some kind of haphazard disenfranchisement of voters.