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It's 'dead on arrival': Attorney weighs in on Hamadeh's suit over election results

Two weeks after the election, Hamadeh is challenging the election results.

PHOENIX — Democrat Kris Mayes leads Republican Abe Hamadeh by 510 votes to become Arizona's next Attorney General.

All the votes have been counted. A legally required recount will soon be underway. However, Hamadeh has filed a lawsuit asking for a judge to declare him the winner.

RELATED: Abe Hamadeh, RNC file lawsuit challenging Arizona election results

The lawsuit does not allege fraud. In fact, the first paragraph of the lawsuit says they do not allege any "fraud, manipulation, or intentional wrongdoing."

However, it does claim a host of errors and inaccuracies disenfranchised some potential voters.

But can a court declare a candidate a winner?

“If you can show a specific number of votes that would have changed the results of the election, then you can prove your case," Jim Barton, an election attorney who has worked on multiple statewide ballot measures, said. "It doesn’t come close to that."

Barton said election law is very narrow and specific and needs a high level of proof to do what Hamadeh seeks.

However, Barton said the evidence isn't there. “It doesn’t even allege they can find 510 votes that can go the other way,” Barton said.

Specifically, the lawsuit singles out 419 potential voters that the legal team believes were disenfranchised after election staff did not properly check them out after some printers malfunctioned on election day.

After that, the lawsuit lacks a specific number of impacted voters.

Among the lawsuit claims are that some early votes were counted based on verifying a signature that was not on a voter's registration but another document. Using other additional documents is permitted under the election manual.

"It’s not specific enough, it’s too late, and it’s wrong," Barton said.

However, at least one attorney believes the lawsuit is about trying to get more votes ahead of a recount.

“Can we count any additional votes? How many can we count, and how can we prove it? “ Michael Bailey, a former federal prosecutor appointed by former president Trump, said.

Bailey believes it will be easier to prove disenfranchisement for the 419 voters.

For other allegations made in the lawsuit, proving issues prevented folks from voting will be harder. “And that’s harder to determine the farther we go down the line,” Bailey said.

“It can't be a fishing expedition. It can't be speculation. It has to be crystal clear. It has to be an easy standard,” Barton said.

The attorneys mainly differ on how valid the lawsuit is. Bailey believes the judge will have a lot of discretion, while Barton says the case will get dismissed.

“The lawsuit is deficient on its face. It’s dead on arrival,“ Barton said

Decision 2022

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