Arizona judge allows attorney general candidate’s election challenge to go to trial
A judge on Tuesday allowed a lawsuit from Republican candidate for Arizona attorney general Abraham Hamadeh to go forward, following his defeat in one of the closest races in the state’s history.
“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,” Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen said in a filing shared by Democracy Docket.
Hamadeh was running against Democratic Secretary of State-elect Kris Mayes and lost by just 511 votes out of more than 2.5 million ballots.
The Republican, who filed the suit jointly with the Republican National Committee, has argued that the tabulation was incorrect due to error and mismanagement by elections officials.
Jantzen on Tuesday denied motions to dismiss on four of five counts and ordered a trial, with an evidentiary hearing set for Friday.
The counts allowed to move forward include allegations of inaccurate ballot duplications, wrongful exclusion of provisional voters and erroneously counted votes, and election board misconduct — and specifically focus on the state’s largest county, Maricopa.
Hamadeh’s case — filed against Mayes and outgoing Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), as well as a number of election officials — is one of several GOP challenges to the election results in Arizona.
Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who lost her race to Hobbs after a long vote count, has continued to raise questions about the state’s election system and stoke concern about the results. Lake called the system a “laughingstock” and accused election workers of intentionally slowing down tabulation.
Republicans have seized on a printer issue that Maricopa County officials said affected some 17,000 ballots as evidence of Election Day issues, but the officials have insisted the problems didn’t impede voters’ ability to cast their ballots.
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