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Arizona Judge Throws Out Republican Party Attempt to Delay Certification of Vote in Maricopa County

Supporters of President Donald Trump demonstrate at a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally in front of the Maricopa County Elections Department office on November 7, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.

A judge on the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County dismissed yet another Republican challenge in an election-related case on Thursday.

This time, Republicans wanted the judge to order Maricopa County to conduct a do-over of the “hand count audit of ballots […] using a sample of vote centers,” which was performed on Election Day. The lawsuit also tried to delay certification of the election results in a county that went to Joe Biden by more than 45,000 votes.

Judge John Hannah granted Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes and Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’s (D) motion to dismiss, dismissed the GOP lawsuit with prejudice, and denied the GOP’s application for a preliminary injunction.

That injunction request, the judge noted, sought to “enjoin the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors from certifying the election results and issuing the official canvass […].”

“The motion to amend the complaint is denied as futile,” Judge Hannah added.

The judge also ruled that Secretary Hobbs, an intervenor in the case, could “file a motion for attorneys’ fees pursuant to A.R.S. section 12-349 not later than December 7, 2020.”

On Wednesday, the judge pointed to the timing of the Republican lawsuit, saying he was “having a hard time” understanding it. In a motion to dismiss, election officials said that Republicans participated in the hand count audit:

Furthermore, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office notified the Honorable Karen Fann, President of the Arizona State Senate, and the Honorable Russell Bowers, Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives—both registered Republicans—that the sampling of vote centers instead of “precincts” is consistent with Arizona law. (Exh. C)). Plaintiff knew, or should have known, that members of their Party participated in the Hand Count Audit and that the Attorney General—also a Republican—agrees that Maricopa County complied with the law in its Hand Count Audit. Yet, Plaintiff soldiered on and brought its lawsuit anyway.

The judge reportedly said during the hearing that the audit process “effectively started before the election” but Republicans “waited until after the election, until they knew how the vote had apparently come out before they filed [suit].”

Read the order:

[Image via Mario Tama/Getty Images]

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Matt Naham is managing editor of Law&Crime. He formerly worked as news editor and weekend editor at Rare.