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Arizona judge allows Republican lawsuits for Lake and Hamadeh to proceed

PHOENIX, Ariz., December 20, 2022—Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen ruled today that attorney general candidate, Republican Abraham Hamadeh, can proceed with his lawsuit challenging the results of the 2022 Mid-term election.

“Maricopa County’s failures on Election Day need to be investigated,” Hamadeh wrote in a Facebook post today regarding his case. “The court’s ruling is a small step toward restoring confidence in our electoral process. I am confident that had Maricopa County run a competent election we would not have to be in this litigation position.”

The hearing on four of the five counts is schedule for this Friday. The four counts Judge Jantzen ruled to be heard are: the exclusion of provisional voters, disqualification of provisional and early ballots, unverified early ballots and issues regarding tabulation machines that rejected ballots because voters didn’t fill them out correctly. The count of alleging illegal votes were counted for unverified early ballots was dismissed.

Hamadeh, who lost his bid by 511 of the 2.5 million votes cast, claims that mistakes by election officials such as “errors and inaccuracies in the management of some polling place operations, and in the processing and tabulation of some ballots” in the 2022 Midterm General Election, cost him the AG race.

The judge also ruled that Hamadeh can inspect ballots in Maricopa, Navajo, and Pima counties. 

“Maricopa County took 3 weeks to count ballots and said that was the best they could do,” Hamadeh wrote in a Facebook post today. “My legal team will also take time to inspect the ballots. I expect the County to have the same patience they demanded from us to make sure every vote is counted.”

Today’s ruling comes just a day after Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson allowed two of ten counts in Arizona gubernatorial candidate, Republican Kari Lake, to move forward. Her trial to nullify the 2022 Mid-term Election results for the governor’s race, begins tomorrow, December 21.

The two counts Judge Thompson allowed to move forward are that ballot printers malfunctioned in Maricopa County because of intentional interference by election officials, and that ballots were improperly added at a county contractor that handles returned mail ballots.

Election officials in Maricopa County, home to more than 60% of voters in the state, acknowledge that printers at 70 of the county’s 223 vote centers on Election Day malfunctioned. However, Lake alleges that 59% of Maricopa County precincts had broken tabulators or printers on Election Day, disenfranchising voters.

The allegation of mishandling of ballots by a county contractor is related to a Runbeck whistleblower affidavit claiming that 298,942 Maricopa County ballots delivered to Runbeck Election Services for tabulation did not have chain of custody documentation.

All mailed-in ballots – whether mailed or dropped off at a polling place – are sent to Runbeck Election Services, about six miles away from Maricopa’s own Tabulation Center in Phoenix, to be tabulated. Maricopa County is one of the only jurisdictions in the country that picks up completed ballots at the USPS Processing Distribution Center and takes them directly to its print vendor Runbeck Election Services that is under no electoral processing supervision.

Last week Judge Thompson granted a petition by Lake for a representative to examine 150 Election Day ballots that were to be carried out today—50 randomly selected “ballot-on-demand,” 50 early ballots cast, and 50 ballots that were marked spoiled.

Lake lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs by just over 17,000 votes out of 2.6 million cast. Late Tuesday evening, Hobbs filed a Motion to Quash to prevent her from testifying at tomorrow’s trial.

Picture of Republican candidate Abe Hamadeh and Kari Lake. Photo from Kari Lake War Room twitter page.

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