PHOENIX — Republican candidate for Arizona Attorney General Abe Hamadeh and the Republican National Committee filed a lawsuit against election officials Tuesday for what they call a host of “errors and inaccuracies” in the management of certain polling places and the counting of ballots in Arizona’s November election.
Maricopa County reported finalizing the tabulation of its ballots Monday, producing results that placed Democrat Kris Mayes narrowly ahead of Hamadeh in the state's highly-competitive race for attorney general.
In the lawsuit, Hamadeh also asks the court to declare him the winner of the attorney general's race.
In a tweet Tuesday evening, Hamadeh said, "the GOP is proud to join in this legal action. Maricopa County's election failures disenfranchised Arizonans. We're going to court to get the answers voters deserve."
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The 25-page complaint claims alleged election board misconduct, the tallying of unlawful ballots and the incorrect counting of votes.
The lawsuit claims erroneous vote counts were due to inadequate poll worker training and or misleading public comments from Supervisor Bill Gates on the process for checking voters out of a polling place following ballot reader malfunctions.
Other issues cited in the complaint include the following:
- Numerous voters “checked in” at a voting center but did not “check out or cast a ballot.
- At least 146 voters who were not properly checked out at their initial polling location and who later presented at a different polling location were required to vote using provisional ballots, which were not counted because the voter was erroneously recorded in the e-pollbook as having already voted.
- At least 273 voters who were not properly "checked out" at their initial polling location and who later deposited completed early ballots at the same or a different voting center had their early ballots voided and not tabulated because the elector was erroneously recorded in the pollbook as having already voted.
- A number of voters were not properly "checked out" at their initial polling location and who later presented at a different polling location were denied an opportunity to cast a provisional ballot at all, in violation of Arizona law
- Ballot duplication errors led to ballots designated for duplication in the November 2 general election were erroneously transposed, resulting in the unlawful mistabulation of a ballot lawfully cast by a qualified voter.
- Electronic duplication errors concerning damaged or defective ballots that either incorrectly characterized a voter’s intent or were not correctly tabulated due to a lack of manual inspection of pertinent ballots in the AG's race.
- Erroneous and unlawful counting of early ballots lacking affidavit signatures that correctly matched voters’ registration records.
Under Arizona law, election contests are supposed to be filed within five days after the election is certified or by Dec. 5, which is just 13 days away.
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