Arizona: “Former head of AG’s Election Integrity Unit joins challenge of Kris Mayes’ election”

Arizona Republic:

The former head of the Arizona Attorney General’s Election Integrity Unit has joined a legal fight to overturn the results of the closest election in the state’s history.

About three weeks after leaving office, Jennifer Wright announced she wants to force out newly elected Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes and install Republican candidate Abe Hamadeh.

Wright, who said she held off resigning in the event Hamadeh beat Mayes in a recount, says human and machine errors disenfranchised hundreds of voters in Arizona counties and a new trial would prove he is the rightful winner of the 2022 race.

“Evidence was withheld, machines failed to tabulate and erroneously marked them as undervotes, and it appears some provisional ballots were erroneously rejected,” Wright said in a Jan. 18 social media post after an announcement that she had joined Hamadeh’s legal team and was helping him pursue an election lawsuit.

Wright is the attorney who issued a legal demand to Maricopa County officials after the Nov. 8 general election, contending they potentially violated laws after equipment problems prevented machines from reading ballots in about 30% of polling stations. She also had posted support of conservative candidates and positions on social media weeks before the election….

Wright said Gov. Katie Hobbs, who was secretary of state during the 2022 election, withheld “critical evidence” from the court about errors that caused votes to be misread.

“Further, information disclosed by Maricopa County after the trial suggests that hundreds of voters were disenfranchised when their provisional ballots were seemingly wrongfully and erroneously rejected.”

County election officials say the certified election results are accurate and no provisional ballots were mistakenly rejected. They researched 7,803 ballots and the findings are publicly available.

An investigation by The Republic in November found Wright was criticizing county officials and raising claims about procedures on Election Day about 10 days before she sent a letter ordering officials to respond to a series of questions before certifying election results.

The Republic found she liked and retweeted posts by Republican candidates and endorsed another on Twitter in the weeks before the election.

Between Oct. 23 and Nov. 6, Wright liked several posts by Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, one of which referred to Hobbs as not a serious person. Before that, Wright had retweeted a post by Hamadeh and said she was looking forward to electing state Sen. Nancy Barto to another term.

Lake and Hamadeh were endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Both filed lawsuits contesting their losses and potentially stood to benefit from Wright’s election probe of Maricopa County.

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