Arizona AG Candidate Denies 2022 Election Results With Trumped-Up Lawsuit

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 08: Arizona Republican Secretary of State candidate Abe Hamedeh speaks during a Republican election night gathering at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch on November 08, 2022 in S... SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 08: Arizona Republican Secretary of State candidate Abe Hamedeh speaks during a Republican election night gathering at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch on November 08, 2022 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Election results continue to come in the race for Arizona Governor between Kari Lake and Democratic challenger Katie Hobbs. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Yet another Republican candidate for office in Arizona is refusing to accept his loss—or, in this case, a recount.

Republican attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh filed a lawsuit—with backing from the Republican National Committee—on Tuesday contesting the results of his race against Democratic opponent Kris Mayes, who’s currently leading in the final tally by 510 votes.

Mayes’ lead was slim enough to trigger an automatic recount in the state, but that wasn’t enough for Hamadeh: The former prosecutor is asking the State Superior Court in Maricopa County to overturn the results (which he believes to be fraudulent because of … printer issues) and name him the winner.

“Upon information and belief, a complete and correct tabulation of all lawful ballots will establish that Contestant Hamadeh received the highest number of votes for the office of Arizona Attorney General in the November 8, 2022 general election,” the complaint says.

The suit, which also lists Arizona governor-elect Katie Hobbs as a defendant, argues that a handful of technical errors that occurred on Election Day led to a flawed vote count. As you’ve probably read a thousand times by now, 70 out of 223 voting centers in Maricopa County experienced printer issues for a few hours that day, so election officials gave voters the option to submit their ballots through a drop box to be tabulated later or vote at another precinct. 

Hamadeh’s suit cites this as one of the reasons the final tally shouldn’t be trusted, and even argues that the technical difficulties complicated the voting process so much that it prevented many Arizonans from voting.

“By inducing voters to leave polling locations and then denying—through a consistent and erroneous practice of failing to properly implement ‘check-out’ procedures—these qualified electors their right to fully cast a ballot for tabulation,” the suit says, “the Maricopa County Defendants engaged (through their election boards) in cognizable ‘misconduct,’ and wrongfully excluded valid and legally sufficient votes from the canvass in the race for Arizona Attorney General.”

To be clear, the printer issues were fixed that afternoon, and a New York Times survey conducted that day found that most voters were still able to cast their ballots, albeit a few hours later than they’d intended.

Hamadeh takes it several steps further, claiming that the votes were counted incorrectly because some of them may have been damaged, so some of the votes may have been misplaced by a Ballot Duplication Board, which is tasked with duplicating deficient ballots with new, clean ones.

“In the 2020 general election for presidential electors, Ballot Duplication Boards in Maricopa County erroneously transposed at least 0.37% of ballots designated for duplication,” the suit says, citing an overblown discovery from Maricopa’s post-2020 election audit. Hamadeh’s attorney then argues that a “substantially similar or greater proportion of ballots designated for duplication” from Election Day have also been “erroneously transposed,” leading to an incorrect final tally. 

It’s unclear how they came to this sweeping conclusion.

The plaintiffs are asking the state court to issue an injunction keeping the secretary of state from certifying the vote count while naming Hamadeh the winner instead. It’s the first legal challenge to Arizona’s midterm election results, though Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has flirted with taking legal action as well.

Read the complaint below:

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