Republican attorney general nominee Abe Hamadeh, along with the Republican National Committee (RNC), filed a lawsuit Tuesday against his Democrat opponent Kris Mayes and the counties of Arizona, alleging that errors in the 2022 general election should prevent a winner from being named in this race.
“Arizonans demand answers and deserve transparency about the gross incompetence and mismanagement of the General Election by certain election officials. I will not stop fighting until ALL voters receive justice. See you in court,” Hamadeh tweeted when announcing the suit.
Arizonans demand answers and deserve transparency about the gross incompetence and mismanagement of the General Election by certain election officials. I will not stop fighting until ALL voters receive justice.
See you in court. pic.twitter.com/5jJ6WWt8IK
— Abe Hamadeh (@AbrahamHamadeh) November 23, 2022
The Arizona Sun Times reached out to Hamadeh’s campaign for additional comments but did not hear back.
The lawsuit starts by clarifying that plaintiffs are not alleging that any fraud, manipulation, or intentional wrongdoing manipulated the outcomes of the 2022 general election. Instead, it addresses what plaintiffs see as “errors and inaccuracies in the management of some polling place locations[.]”
Printer issues affected the capabilities of on-site tabulation machines across Maricopa County on Election Day. When arriving at a center, voters were instructed to “check-in” by signing an electronic pollbook (EP). According to the lawsuit, voters had five options when faced with a malfunction: wait for a fix, deposit their ballot in “Door 3,” use an accessibility voting device to cast a vote electronically, “check out” of that voting center and go somewhere else, or check out and cast an early ballot they had previously received but chose not to cast.
However, poll workers at some locations were allegedly unaware of the checkout process, and plaintiffs stated these workers did not receive training to prepare for this situation.
The plaintiffs stated that at least 146 voters were not adequately checked out of one voting center and showed up at a different location. These voters were told to use a provisional ballot. Yet, the plaintiffs argued these voters would not be counted because the EPs at the original site show the individual as having already voted. The same applies to at least 273 voters who attempted to cast an early ballot after “checking out” of a polling location. The lawsuit also alleges that “a material number of voters” that left one voting location were denied the ability to use any provisional ballot elsewhere.
The plaintiffs argued that, under the Arizona Constitution, every individual in the state eligible to vote has a right to cast that vote and have it counted. Therefore, by not counting the ballots from voters who experienced an error out of their control, Maricopa County is violating Arizona law and must count all provisional or early ballots cast by those improperly checked out of a polling location.
As for those denied a provisional ballot Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) § 16-584 states that if poll workers cannot verify an individual’s eligibility to vote, but the person affirms they are, the voter is entitled to receive, complete, and submit a provisional ballot. Thus, it was unlawful to deny anyone who affirmed they were eligible to vote a provisional ballot because the EP marked them as already voting. The plaintiffs requested the court order Maricopa County to provide these individuals with a provisional ballot that will be cast and counted in the vote total.
Ultimately, the plaintiffs requested the court issue an injunction prohibiting the Secretary of State from declaring a winner in the race for Attorney General until all legal votes have been cast and counted.
The Sun Times reached out to Maricopa County for a response to the lawsuit, but it had no comment.
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