An Arizona judge has ruled against a Republican Party bid to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
"The Court finds no misconduct, no fraud, and no effect on the outcome of the election," the document signed by Judge Randall H. Warner said Friday.
Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward pushed to void Biden’s win over President Donald Trump in Arizona all week and instigated the challenge.
Ward’s legal team claimed in their final arguments there were mistakes made in how duplicate ballots were filled out resulting in votes that were not counted for Trump.
The plaintiff asked for a full review of the duplicate ballots in the county. There were about 27,000 of these types of ballots, according to court testimony from an election official.
With that request came an appeal to put the trial on hold until the review was completed.
The defendants, Biden electors, argued there was no evidence that there were widespread problems with the ballot tabulation process or the election workers who conducted the vote count.
The defense said there were mistakes, however, they would result in about 100 to 120 votes. Biden won the state by 10,457 votes.
In the end, the court found that the discrepancy was human error and not directly targeted toward any particular candidate. And the error could not produce a large enough difference to change the result of the election.
"The duplication process for the presidential election was 99.45% accurate. And there is no evidence that the inaccuracies were intentional or part of a fraudulent scheme. They were mistakes."
"And given both the small number of duplicate ballots and the low error rate, the evidence does not show any impact on the outcome."
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has firmly stood by the results of the election even after receiving death threats and welcomed the judge's ruling.
"I cannot overstate how these pervasive, vague, & unsupported claims of election misconduct are undermining the foundation of our democracy," she said.
Biden's victory has been acknowledged even by Gov. Doug Ducey and other Republican leaders like Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers.
"No election is perfect, and if there were evidence of illegal votes or an improper count, then Arizona law provides a process to contest the election: a lawsuit under state law. But the law does not authorize the Legislature to reverse the results of an election," he said in a statement Friday.
"As a conservative Republican, I don’t like the results of the presidential election. I voted for President Trump and worked hard to reelect him. But I cannot and will not entertain a suggestion that we violate current law to change the outcome of a certified election."
On Monday, Judge Randall Warner allowed the plaintiff to examine 100 duplicate ballots, which are ballots that must be recreated by county workers after they are damaged or unable to run through the machine for some reason.
In that time, two duplicate ballots were found to have been filled out incorrectly. The judge then ordered 2,500 duplicate ballots be examined.
This resulted in five more ballots being found to have been filled out incorrectly.
Jarrett testified five ballots originally had votes for Trump but resulted in either an overcount (two or more options were selected) or an undercount (no options were selected). The other two ballots had original votes for Biden but were over counts.
Jarrett said this means neither candidate got those particular votes.
Jarrett explained these were human errors and while he hoped they would not, he expected mistakes to happen.
“It would be unreasonable to expect no errors,” Jarrett testified.
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