AZ GOP Chair Says Trump Called Her Up After Court Smacked Down Election Challenge

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 22: Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward attends the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in Oxon Hill, Md., on February 22, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 22: Arizona Senate candidate Kelli Ward attends the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort in Oxon Hill, Md., on February 22, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
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December 9, 2020 5:41 p.m.

Arizona Republican Party chair Kelli Ward on Wednesday gleefully touted that President Trump called her up that morning asking her for an “update” on her party’s efforts to challenge the state’s election results. The presidential call came a day after the state’s Supreme Court swatted down her challenge to void President-elect Joe Biden’s win.

Ward sought to have a judge in Maricopa County Superior Court void Biden’s 10,457-vote win in Arizona. In her claim, Ward challenged the signature verification process used by Maricopa County to authenticate mail-in ballots, as well as the duplication process election officials used to count ballots that tabulation machines couldn’t read.

Superior Court Judge Randall Warner said that Ward’s team failed to produce evidence of ballot fraud.

After Ward appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court, Chief Justice Robert Brutinel agreed with Warner in an order issued Tuesday.

Brutinel wrote that Ward’s challenge failed to “present any evidence of ‘misconduct,’ ‘illegal votes’ or that the Biden Electors ‘did not in fact receive the highest number of votes for office — let alone establish any degree of fraud or a sufficient error rate that would undermine the certainty of the election results.”

In a statement issued later Tuesday night, Ward called the decision “disappointing” and “not what those who value and recognize the importance of election transparency and integrity were seeking.”

On Wednesday morning, Ward said in a video posted to the Arizona GOP’s Twitter account — which came under fire for a now-deleted tweet featuring a clip from the film “Rambo” that appeared to encourage violence as it boosted Trump’s long-shot efforts of a second term — that Trump called her up asking for an “update” on his fruitless efforts to overturn election results in the battleground state.

In the video recalling what she and Trump supposedly discussed, Ward slammed Democrats by nonsensically accusing them of  “celebrating with glee that there isn’t any transparency with our elections” before lamenting the Arizona Supreme Court’s rejection of the state’s GOP efforts to overturn election results.

“Well the case is about finding more evidence,” Ward said. “As you know, the COVID restrictions made it very difficult for our observers to actually meaningfully observe the duplication process, the signature verification process, the digital adjudication process — all of those things which our case has been about. But we found some abnormalities and we need to look for more.”

Ward aired more unsubstantiated claims of “abnormalities” and high volumes of signature rejections as she teased the possibility of taking the state GOP’s election result challenges all the way to the Supreme Court.

“We do know that it was going to be very difficult for our recorders to actually appropriately vet those people to make sure that they were legally qualified to cast a vote in our election,” Ward said. “So there’s still a lot of things out there, folks. This is far from over. We’re preparing about what to do next: are we going to go to the Supreme Court of the United States? Maybe. I’ll let you know tomorrow.”

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