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Arizona GOP files lawsuit in Maricopa County over election counting

PHOENIX – The Arizona Republican Party filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Maricopa County Recorder and Board of Supervisors over how the election count sampling is being handled.

The lawsuit challenges a provision in the Arizona Secretary of State’s election procedures that allows counties to conduct a post-election hand count of ballots by vote centers instead of vote precincts.

Traditionally, voters have been assigned a polling place in their precinct to vote, but this year, Maricopa County used voting centers, which allowed voters to choose where they cast their ballots.

The Arizona GOP alleges that counting by precinct instead of center will provide a more precise sampling of votes.

“Arizona voters deserve complete assurance that the law will be followed and that only legal votes will be counted,” Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward said in a statement.

The purpose of the sampling hand count audit is to compare the results of the machine to ensure that all machines are accurately counting votes.

If the results from the hand count audit are outside of the designated margin, a second hand count of the same ballots is required. That could potentially be followed by an expanded hand count of additional jurisdictions.

The sampling should be at least 15 precincts in Maricopa County, which is 2% of the county’s 175 vote centers that were available in the 2020 General Election.

The lawsuit comes as Maricopa County is preparing to wrap up final vote counting, which would mean that the sampling will start soon. As of Thursday night, the county had less than 1,000 ballots left to count, according to tracking by the Arizona Secretary of State’s website.

President-elect Joe Biden essentially sealed his win in Arizona after his lead became greater than the remaining number of ballots in Arizona on Thursday night. Biden continued to lead President Donald Trump by 11,434 votes with just 10,315 votes left to tabulate.

This is the latest lawsuit that the Arizona GOP has been a part of. Over the weekend, President Donald Trump’s campaign, the Arizona GOP and the Republican National Committee filed a lawsuit claiming poll center workers were incorrectly rejecting ballots cast in person on Election Day.

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