Loser in Arizona Attorney General’s race asking judge to block Kris Mayes’ certification as winner

By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services
PHOENIX — The ostensibly losing candidate for Arizona Attorney General is asking a judge to prevent Secretary of State from declaring Kris Mayes the winner.
Legal documents filed Tuesday in Maricopa County Superior Court by Republican Abe Hamadeh allege there have been a series of errors and illegal actions in the general election that resulted in some people’s votes not being counted and others being miscalculated counted.
What makes Hamadeh’s attorneys and the Republican National Committee all so important is that the final standings give Mayes a lead of just 510 votes over more than 2.5 million votes cast. And that, they claim, is enough to change the outcome.
Hamadeh and the RNC are careful to say that “through this lawsuit they are not alleging any fraud, manipulation or other willful misconduct that would call into question the results of the November 8, 2022 general election.
But they say the other issues, including “errors and inaccuracies” in the way some polling places were run, coupled with problems in the processing and tabulation of some ballots, make these issues “material in the race for attorney general.” a provision of the electoral law that they say requires a judge to resolve any issues “and the declared result to be in accordance with the will of the voters”.
So they want Maricopa County, where most of the trouble happened, to go back and count certain “preliminary” ballots.
These were handed out to people who registered at the first polling station where they came, but did not vote there because of problems with printers and tabbing equipment.
But when they went to a second location, they got preliminary ballots based on electronic polls that showed they voted in the first location because pollsters there never checked them. And based on that, those preliminary ballots were never counted.
The lawsuit says there are at least 419 who fall into this or a related category related to early ballots.
Possibly more importantly, the lawyers say that “a significant number” of people who showed up at a second location were rejected based on the polls that showed they voted at the first location.
The lawsuit asks the judge to give everyone in this category a “reasonable chance” to vote, with those results being part of the final tally.
Attorney Kory Langhofer said this is more than an academic legal exercise.
“After the court reviews the five errors in the application, Hamadeh expects to have an edge in the table,” he told Capitol Media Services.
GOP officials allege that members of their party have been more likely to wait until Election Day to vote instead of voting early. If that claim turns out to be true, it could mean that those countless provisional ballots and the votes of people rejected on Election Day are likely to swing in favor of Hamadeh.
Maricopa County officials did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.
Not all of the claims are related to the problems voters faced in Maricopa County, where malfunctioning machines prevented voters from immediately having their ballots counted on site.
The lawsuit also names the recorders and supervisors in the other 14 counties. There, the accusations surround ballots that, whether damaged or faulty, could not be read or interpreted by the counting machines.
In that case, the lawyers say, each county is supposed to form a “ballot duplication board” of at least two members who don’t belong to the same political party to convert the choices indicated by the voter into a new, duplicated ballot. claims that some have not been reproduced correctly.
Closely related are allegations that a separate “electronic jury” studying what might have been conflicting numbers on a ballot paper failed to deal with them as required by law, resulting in errors in the final tally.
And then there are allegations that some early ballots were counted even though the signature on the envelope didn’t match the person’s voter registration.
The lawyers said election officials made the decision to count those ballots because the signature matched another record, such as an early ballot affidavit filed in connection with a previous record or a signature on a polling station’s list.
That’s apparently allowed under the state’s election procedures manual. But the lawsuit argues that this is not allowed under state law, which the lawyers say supersedes the manual.
No date has been set for a hearing.
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On Twitter: @azcapmedia

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