Adding to the fight against Arizona’s Maricopa County election results, an Arizona judge has ruled that a lawsuit filed by Republican Attorney General Candidate Abraham Hamadeh’s lawsuit can go to trial.
Hamadeh, who lost his election to Democrat Kris Mayes by just 511 votes out of 2.5 million, filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County alleging “errors and inaccuracies” at voting locations. On Election Day, Maricopa saw significant issues at its polling locations including malfunctioning voting machines and improperly printed ballots.
He requested “judicial intervention” to make sure that the candidate who “received the highest number of lawful votes is declared the next Arizona Attorney General.”
The lawsuit asserts that officials in at least 15 Arizona counties “caused the unlawful denial of the franchise to certain qualified electors, erroneously tallied certain ballots, and included for tabulation in the canvass certain illegal votes in connection with the election for the office of Arizona Attorney General.”
“This pervasive and systematic error directly and proximately resulted in three recurring scenarios in which qualified electors were unlawfully and unconstitutionally disenfranchised,” the lawsuit continued.
Hamadeh’s lawsuit also suggested that up to 1,942 filled-out provisional ballots in Maricopa County were not counted.
On Tuesday, Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen ruled that Hamadeh’s lawsuit may proceed to trial on Friday. Judge Jantzen explained the reasoning behind his decision to grant Hamadeh a trial, saying, “This case is different … because the Plaintiff is not alleging political motives or fraud or personal agendas being pushed. It is simply alleging misconduct by mistake, or omission by election officials, led to erroneous count of votes and which if true could have led to an uncertain result.”
However, Jantzen dismissed the lawsuit’s claim that the county’s system of handling mail-in ballots is unconstitutional. The judge claimed that this complaint should have been brought up before the elections were held.
“The procedure in the EPM being challenged has been in place since 2019 and should not be the subject of a post-election challenge,” Jantzen said.
Another claim that was dismissed by Jantzen is that votes were illegally accepted because of the county’s acceptance of election documents aside from voter registration forms.
Jantzen also noted that Hamadeh faces a “high burden to meet in order to have an election overturned,” acknowledging the strict requirements in place to be able to classify an election as illegitimate.
“The court must make these determinations based on facts and not mere conclusions,” said Jantzen in the filing. “However, at this stage in the unique proceedings of an election contest, the Court finds the Plaintiff has the right to present its case and even gather additional information.”