ARIZONA NEWS

Judge dismisses GOP bid to undo Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona

Dec 4, 2020, 5:34 PM | Updated: 9:22 pm
Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward, left, and her husband, Michael Ward. (Flickr/Gage Skidmore)...
Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward, left, and her husband, Michael Ward. (Flickr/Gage Skidmore)
(Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

PHOENIX (AP) — A judge has thrown out a Republican bid to undo Democrat President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona, concluding the GOP failed to prove fraud in a challenge of election results in metro Phoenix and that evidence presented at trial wouldn’t reverse President Donald Trump’s loss in the state.

Judge Randall Warner on Friday dismissed Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward’s challenge of ballots in metro Phoenix that were duplicated because voters’ earlier ballots were damaged or could not be run through tabulators.

Poll observers called to testify by Ward said they witnessed problems in the processing of duplicated ballots, but the judge wrote that those problems were pointed out to election workers, who then fixed the mistakes.

Warner wrote “there is no evidence that the inaccuracies were intentional or part of a fraudulent scheme. They were mistakes. And given both the small number of duplicate ballots and the low error rate, the evidence does not show any impact on the outcome.”

Jack Wilenchik, Ward’s attorney, said the state’s GOP chief will appeal the decision to the Arizona Supreme Court. “We have a significant issue to litigate here,” Wilenchik said.

Her lawsuit says some suburbs on the southeastern edge of Maricopa County had an unusually high number of duplicated ballots — and that the election results in that area were “strongly inconsistent” with voter registration and historical voting data. It also alleged the software used in processing such ballots would “prefill” Biden’s name on ballots more often than it did President Donald Trump.

Attorneys defending election officials in the lawsuit said it would be an extraordinary move for a court to reverse an election in which more than 3 million Arizonans voted.

A court-ordered sampling of 1,626 duplicated ballots found Trump lost seven votes due to errors in ballot processing in Maricopa County. An election official had testified Trump could have lost 103 votes if the error rate were extrapolated across all 27,800 duplicated ballots in the county. Biden won Arizona by more than 10,000 votes.

Warner also dismissed Ward’s claims that Republican poll observers weren’t given adequate access to the signature-verification of mail-in ballots and duplicated ballots, saying those complaints should have been brought up sooner.

The judge also said no evidence of misconduct surfaced during a court-ordered inspection of 100 voter signatures on the envelopes for mail-in ballots. The aim of the review was to see whether ballots were falsely verified.

The state’s election results were certified on Monday, showing Biden won Arizona. The Electoral College is scheduled to meet on Dec. 14.

No evidence of voter fraud or election fraud has emerged during this election season in Arizona. U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr has said the Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the election.

Even though Republican Gov. Doug Ducey said earlier this week that Arizona’s election was well-run as he certified the Nov. 3 results, many GOP politicians in the state have mostly been silent or slow to express confidence in the election results that gave Biden a victory in Arizona.

Republican House Speaker Rusty Bowers broke ranks with many in his party Friday when he released a lengthy statement rejecting what he called a “breathtaking” request from Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani for the Legislature to step in and replace electors legally pledged for Biden with others who would support Trump.

Bowers said Giuliani presented theories of voter fraud but no proof, and he said there’s no way the Legislature could reverse the will of the voters.

Four earlier election challenges in Maricopa County were dismissed, including one filed by the state Republican Party that sought to determine whether voting machines were hacked.

One election challenge remains pending in Arizona.

Firebrand conservative attorney Sidney Powell, who was removed from Trump’s legal team, asked a judge to decertify the state’s votes, alleging that there were more than 400,000 illegal ballots counted in the state, and criticized the voting equipment used in metro Phoenix.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Tuesday.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Unsplash Photo)...
KTAR.com

Police investigating homicide of 42-year-old man in south Phoenix

Police are investigating the homicide of a 42-year-old man who was found shot in his front yard in south Phoenix, authorities said Saturday.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Police exchange late-night gunfire with man on Phoenix street

Police in Phoenix exchanged gunfire with a man late Thursday and later found him wounded at a home, where they took him into custody.
1 day ago
FILE - Jerry Emmett, who was born before women won the right to vote in the U.S., leaves the Yavapa...
Associated Press

Top election officials in Arizona county leave amid threats

The elected county recorder and the elections director in Arizona's Yavapai County are resigning after more than a year and a half of threats and heated criticism from backers of former President Donald Trump who accept his lie that he lost the 2020 election because of fraud.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photo/City of Mesa Police Department)...
KTAR.com

Mesa police shoot at suspect who allegedly fled traffic stop; suspect outstanding

Mesa police fired shots at a suspect early Saturday after they allegedly fled during a traffic stop, authorities said. 
1 day ago
Deborah Sciortino...
KTAR.com

Silver Alert canceled for 67-year-old woman last seen in Mesa

A Silver Alert was canceled Saturday morning for a 67-year-old woman last seen in Mesa, authorities said.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Hot weather, clear skies forecast for Valley over Fourth of July weekend

People likely won't have to worry about the monsoon season putting a damper on Independence Day celebrations this weekend in the Valley, but temperatures will continue to be in the triple digits.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Judge dismisses GOP bid to undo Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona