Arizona Attorney General candidate Abe Hamade sued over the election results

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PHOENIX – Abe Hamadeh, the Republican nominee for attorney general in Arizona, sued his Democratic opponent and several state and county officials on Tuesday. 8 competition.

His race, in which he edged out Democrat Chris Mayes by just 510 votes out of more than 2.5 million votes, had already been forced into a mandatory recount as no more than 0.5 percent separated the two candidates. Hamadeh argued that the election was rigged to alter the outcome. The Washington Post has not projected a winner in the race.

The state’s tally gave Hamadeh 1,254,102 votes to Mayes’ 1,254,612, and he said Tuesday he felt “confident that the final result will be the same” and predicted the process would wrap up by Christmas. “Every vote is important because this race has to show everyone across the country,” he told reporters.

Republican denial candidates lost key statewide races in the 2022 midterm elections, even as denial forces swelled in Congress. (Video: JM Rieger/The Washington Post)

The razor-thin margin in the race for attorney general has taken center stage as Republican candidates fell to Democrats in the state’s most important contests. The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer for state government, with the power to enforce election laws that could affect the administration of the 2024 presidential election.

The Attorney General also has extensive investigative powers The current attorney general is Republican Mark BronovichHe has used it against local officials and the administration of the 2020 presidential election.

The Republican National Committee joined Hamadeh, a former attorney and U.S. military commander, in his lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court. Among the named defendants is Mayes, the former chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates public utilities. Katie HobbsA Democrat for secretary of state and governor-elect, in addition to county recorders and boards of supervisors in all of Arizona’s 15 counties.

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The suit asks the court to issue an injunction preventing the secretary of state from certifying Mayes as the winner and requiring him to declare Hamadeh as the winner. The court should order the various county officials to correct procedural and tabulation errors they say they made and revise the final vote count, arguing that it would make the Republican Party the winner.

Dan Barr, Mayes’ attorney, said the Democrats would ask the court to dismiss the complaint, which he said was “lacking in material facts.”

“It does not credibly allege that errors in the administration of the election actually occurred that, if they had occurred, would have made any difference to the outcome,” Barr said.

A spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office said the office’s legal counsel is reviewing the case and preparing a response.

“The office believes the case is legally baseless and speculative in fact,” a spokesperson said in a statement to The Washington Post. “None of the claims raised warrants an extraordinary remedy to change the election results and overturn the will of Arizona voters.”

Notably, Hamadeh’s lawsuit begins with the statement that he and the RNC “do not allege, through this lawsuit, any fraud, manipulation or other willful wrongdoing.” It focuses specifically on the race for attorney general, not other statewide contests such as the governor’s race, which features Republican Gary Lake. He refused to agree. The difference separating her and Hobbs is just outside the margin for automatic recounting. Still, Lake’s campaign argued that the results should not be certified, promising “justice for the people of Arizona.” Districts must certify results by Nov. 28, and state certification is set for Dec. 5.

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Beyond seeking to compel Maricopa County to produce extensive records about the administration of the Nov. 8 election, Lake did not take his demands to court, as Hamadeh has now done. But his insistence that he cheated without winning makes him unique among Republican candidates Endorsed by former President Donald TrumpAlmost everyone has agreed Despite signaling their support for false claims of rigging in the 2020 tournament this cycle. of the lake Posture It ensures that Arizona will be central ground in the fight for trust in voting and elections.

Both Airi and Hamadeh — in public statements, he’s now in court — focused Mechanical problems Maricopa County has more than half the voters of Phoenix and the state. At the beginning of Election Day, printers 70 out of 223 polling booths in the district District officials said the ballots were made with ink too light to be read by the counting machines. This forced voters to wait in line, move elsewhere or deposit their ballots in safe boxes that were moved to Phoenix and counted there.

District leaders have yet to explain why problems, said they will conduct a comprehensive review once the ballot tabulation is complete. But they claim that no one has been denied the right to vote. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge reached the same conclusion They refuse Republicans’ request to extend voting hours on Election Day in light of machine errors

Hamadeh’s lawsuit asks the court to order Maricopa County to process and index 146 provisional ballots and 273 mail-in ballots. Voters are improperly excluded when they fail to “check out” a polling station after encountering mechanical problems, preventing them from voting another way. A spokeswoman for Maricopa County declined to comment Tuesday.

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The suit is asking the court to order various counties to exclude ballots with incorrect signature matches, citing issues with duplicate ballots and misjudgment of ballots. The case does not provide evidence of widespread error sufficient to confound the result.

Jim Barton, an election law attorney for Democrats in metro Phoenix, said the lawsuit doesn’t allege enough specific issues to change the outcome of the election.

“If you’re going to run for office, you have to be specific, and you have to specifically identify enough issues that can flip the election,” Barton said. “They don’t satisfy the standard of showing that if they were right, the results of the election would be changed.”

Richard L., a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Hassan said the case appears to be deliberately different, with the aim of overturning election results in recent years. Essentially, he said, it’s “the wildest allegations of fraud that we’ve seen in some of the Trump-related cases in 2020.”

Hasen said, “The court should be taken seriously.”

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