Arizona election contests filed

Let’s start with Attorney General candidate Abe Hamedah. He lost by 511 votes, and a recount is underway. The Arizona Republic story is here:

The lawsuit specifically states that the candidate is not making claims of fraud or nefarious actions in the election, however. That stands in stark contrast to another election lawsuit filed Friday by Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. Lake, who lost, makes claims of “intentional misconduct” related to problems at the polls.

. . .

Hamadeh and his attorney, Tim LaSota, make seven specific claims in the lawsuit:

  • That Maricopa County officials inaccurately marked some people as having voted and thus prevented them from casting ballots.
  • That Maricopa County prevented some people who could not prove their identity from casting provisional ballots.
  • That county officials from across the state inaccurately tabulated voter preferences when duplicating ballots that machines couldn’t read.
  • That the county defendants inaccurately tabulated voter preferences when adjudicating ballots.
  • That county officials improperly accepted some early ballots when the signatures on the envelopes didn’t match signatures on file for those voters.
  • That county officials improperly counted faintly marked ballots as undervotes.
  • That county officials didn’t count some provisional ballots because their voter lists were not properly maintained.

The first allegation deals with the well-documented printer problems at polling sites in Maricopa County on Election Day. The printers at many sites were not producing ballots with dark enough markings to be read by the tabulators, leaving voters with other options.

The simplest was that they could leave their ballot in something called “door 3,” a secure box where ballots are kept so workers can tabulate them elsewhere. About 17,000 ballots were submitted this way, though not all because of the printer problems.

The issues could have affected as many as 30% of polling sites and about 6% of the total Election Day ballots cast.

But if voters wanted to either go to another polling site or to instead cast an early ballot they had received in the mail, they had to “check out” of the first polling site where they tried to cast a ballot. The lawsuit asserts poll workers were either not trained or inadequately trained on how to check people out, which lead to them going elsewhere to cast provisional ballots or to turn in early ballots that were then not counted.

The lawsuit claims 126 people cast provisional ballots that weren’t counted because of this problem, and another 269 people submitted early ballots that weren’t counted, for a total of 395. It also claims a “material number” of voters were denied the chance to even cast provisional ballots later in the day because of this issue.

(While the bulk of concerns are about Maricopa County, Arizona law allows venue in any county in which a contestant (any voter) resides, and here the plaintiffs chose Mohave County.)

Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem each also filed contests, as summarized in the Arizona Republic. As Lake lost by 17,000 votes and Finchem by 120,000, you can imagine that the complaints are a bit more… sprawling, shall we say. You can see the original documents here, which includes, as the Republic described Lake’s complaint, “a laundry list of problems and allegations related to the Nov. 8 election.”

Lake’s complaint repeatedly invokes federal law, so it’s unclear if the contest will be removed to federal court, and it will be interesting to see how the Ninth Circuit would treat such a complaint.

Share this: