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Judge dismisses Arizona GOP lawsuit seeking audit of county's ballots

A judge on Thursday rejected a Republican Party lawsuit seeking an audit of ballots in Arizona's biggest county, which helped flip the state blue for the first time in more than 20 years.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice and denied the Arizona GOP's request for an audit of the county's results, which would likely have delayed its certification of the vote tallies. An order outlining the judge's reasoning is expected later Thursday.

The county is planning to officially certify the count on Friday, according to The Arizona Republic.

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The lawsuit filed last week accuses Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and its metro area, of violating state law by doing away with its precinct voting model this election, allowing voters to cast their ballots at any polling center in the county as opposed to one in a particular district within the county. 

“Arizona voters deserve to have complete trust in their election procedures. They should also have supreme confidence that only legal ballots were counted in the 2020 election," Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward said in a statement. "Failure to address their concerns actively harms our state and our nation. Because of this, I stand by my call for a full hand-count audit of our state’s election results.”

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Senate approves two energy regulators, completing panel Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race MORE has been projected to win Arizona, making him the first Democrat to take the state since former President Clinton won it in his 1996 reelection race. 

With 100 percent of Arizona's precincts reporting results, Biden won by about 0.3 percent, a margin of slightly more than 10,000 votes.