Thursday, December 3, 2020

UPDATE: "Arizona Kraken" Flails In Court, Judge Sets Two Hearings Next Week To Address TRO, Motions to Dismiss

The federal lawsuit challenging Arizona's results brought by former Trump attorney Sidney Powell (and others) got off to a rough start this afternoon, and is headed to two separate hearings next week. 

(from Wikipedia)

U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa warned plaintiffs not to "waste judicial resources" because AZGOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward is a plaintiff in possibly-overlapping challenges in both this case and a state court election contest which is in the middle of trial. Alan Kleinhendler - one of multiple attorneys assisting Powell - offered to remove Ward as a plaintiff, but the judge suggested that he instead review Arizona's statutory bases for contesting an election result. (A.R.S. §16-672)

The judge then set up an expedited briefing schedule on the Plaintiff's request for a Temporary Restraining Order (below) and the Motions to Dismiss which are being filed by the Defendants and Intervenors. She set hearings for Tuesday on the former and Wednesday for the latter.

Plaintiffs are alleging a bundle of types of fraud and irregularities which they believe should net "hundreds of thousands" of votes for Donald Trump. The President lost by just over 10,000 votes to Joe Biden.



"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet.

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.



TUNE IN: Arizona's Election Contest Coverage

 County's Motion to Seal Voter Registration Documents - GRANTED

County Inter Ve No Rs Motion to s by arizonaspolitics on Scribd

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Here is the list of potential witnesses Plaintiff Kelli Ward might be calling.

Plaintiffs Witness and Ex Hibi by arizonaspolitics on Scribd

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(This is a developing story. Please check back frequently for updates.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

BREAKING: Arizona Election Officials Get Crackin' As Former Trump Lawyer Sidney Powell Files Suit To "Decertify" Results; Hearing Set For Thursday (READ Complaint)

Former Trump attorney Sidney Powell brought her Kraken lawsuit to Arizona Wednesday and will appear before a federal judge tomorrow afternoon.

Powell and Sharpiegate attorney Alex Kolodin filed the so-called "Kraken" case, alleging that they will prove that "hundreds of thousands" of ballots were fraudulently counted for President-elect Joe Biden, and that Donald Trump should remain as President.

The Complaint focuses on their theories about Dominion Voting Systems leading the cheating efforts, but also includes a great deal of the theories presented at Monday's all-day "#ArizonaHearing" held by Republican legislators and Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis.

The lawsuit is brought on behalf of AZGOP Chair Kelli Ward, her husband Michael, a couple of present and future state lawmakers, and others. It only names Governor Doug Ducey and Secretary of State Hobbs as defendants. The certification was signed by those two on Monday, as well as by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel. The latter two have not been named in this action.

U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa has set a telephonic status conference on the lawsuit for 2:00pm on Thursday, December 3. That is *while* the opposing attorneys will be busy in state court handling the evidentiary hearing in AZGOP Chair Kelli Ward's *other* election contest.

(This is a developing story, and more details will be added as they become available.)

Bower Complaint AZ by arizonaspolitics on Scribd

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet.

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

BREAKING, UPDATE: Maricopa County Providing Additional Duplicated Ballots For Review At This Hour

BREAKING, UPDATE: Maricopa County Providing Additional Duplicated Ballots For Review At This Hour  UPDATE, 2:40pm: 

At this hour, the parties to the lawsuit (and the political parties) are beginning to review an additional batch of duplicated ballots in Maricopa County, according to multiple Arizona's Law sources. The Court did not order the additional review, but Maricopa County extended the offer to make available another 2,700 randomly-selected ballots, and the Plaintiff's attorneys accepted.

The agreement was made at a court hearing this morning, shortly after the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors met and approved entering the Election Contest as an intervening party. (The Court approved that shortly thereafter.)

It is unclear at this point how many of the 2,700 ballots will be able to be reviewed before the evidentiary hearing scheduled to begin at 10:30am on Thursday (and continue through Friday morning). The 100 random ballots (below) required about one minute each yesterday, and it is presently unclear whether the County would be setting up additional reviewing tables and how long the reviewing process would continue into the night.

If 2,800 ballot are reviewed, that would be a 10% sample size. The County confirmed to the Court this morning that there were 27,859 ballots which had to be duplicated.

The Plaintiff had also requested that the Secretary of State's Office determine how many ballots had to be duplicated in Arizona's other (14) counties. However, the Court decided not to order that after the Secretary of State's counsel explained that the counties were not required to provide that information to their office.

Finally, as noted below, the parties did agree to the Motion's characterization of the two ballots in which discrepancies were noted. In addition, the parties reviewed the signatures on 100 mail-in ballots, and found that 8-10 had "inconclusive" matches. The plaintiff is not suggesting they were "invalid or fraudulent".

(Corrected: If 2,800 ballots are reviewed, that would be a 10% sample size of Maricopa County's 27,859 duplicated ballots. Not 1%, as previously written. h/t to @aerosquire.)

BREAKING UPDATE: Kelli Ward Asks Court To Expand Review Of Duplicated Ballots After Two Errors Found (READ Motion) .....(original article, 12:20pm)

Attorneys for Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward have asked a judge to allow them to review all duplicated ballots statewide, after a sample review in Phoenix yesterday showed two discrepancies that went against outgoing President Donald Trump.

On Monday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Randall Warner allowed the Plaintiffs to review a random sample of 100 ballots which had had to be "duplicated" for one reason or another. The review took place yesterday with attorneys for all of the parties and a credentialed observer watching.

According to Ward's Motion this morning: "Of the one hundred (100) duplicate ballots that were inspected and compared to their “originals,” a ballot was identified where the original was clearly a vote for Trump, and the duplicate ballot switched the vote to Biden.

A second ballot was also identified on which the original ballot was clearly a vote only for Trump, but the duplicate ballot had a vote for both Trump and a “blank” write-in candidate, causing the “Trump” vote to be cancelled (due to an “over-vote”)."

(Later: The parties have agreed to the Motion's characterization of those two ballots. In addition, the parties reviewed the signatures on 100 mail-in ballots, and found that 8-10 had "inconclusive" matches. The plaintiff is not suggesting they were "invalid or fraudulent".)

Wilenchik requests that the County and the Secretary of State inform the Court how many duplicated ballots were counted statewide, and that if it is manageable, they be inspected by the parties.

When duplicated, ballots are supposed to be checked for the voter's intent by a "board" made up of two people from different political parties.

Ward called the development "explosive" in a video posted to Twitter this morning.

Arizona's Law has asked Maricopa County for their response, and will update this article as warranted.

Arizona Election Contest - Motion to Expand Discovery by arizonaspolitics on Scribd

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet.

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

BREAKING: "There's Nothing Perfect In This World, Including Voting Systems" - Why Judge Mahoney Dismissed "SharpieGate 3.0" Lawsuit (READ Opinion)

 "There's nothing perfect in this world, including voting systems." With that quote from one of the (Plaintiffs') witnesses, Superior Court Judge Margaret Mahoney began her 10 page Opinion as to why she dismissed the so-called "Sharpie Gate 3.0" lawsuit challenging Arizona's Presidential election.

Mahoney had dismissed the case from the bench immediately following the all-day trial on November 20. Her Minute Entry explaining her reasons was filed yesterday (and made available today).

Here is our coverage from the trial, and before - including the eviscerating commentary from fellow attorney Tom Ryan.

The quoted testimony came from the proposed voting systems expert W. James Sneeringer. Judge Mahoney noted that the "seemingly neither controversial nor original" opinion "directly contradicts the linchpin of Plaintiffs' Complaint."

"The Court finds the law cannot provide, nor does it guarantee, perfection," Mahoney wrote. The finding would seem to not only fit the second case brought by the Arizona voters Laurie Aguilera and Donovan Drobina and their attorneys from the conservative Public Interest Legal Foundation, but also the theories of fraud being cavalierly tossed about by Donald Trump's legal team and supporters. (Including in the case presently before the Court, brought by Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward. Her attorney told the Court yesterday that the Arizona Legislature should appoint their own electors .)

Mahoney ultimately determined that not only did the Plaintiffs not have the legal standing to bring the case, but that they had not stated claims upon which she could grant them relief and had not even presented evidence to support their claims.

The Plaintiffs have not appealed the decision, and Defendants/Intervenors have not filed a motion to hold the plaintiffs and/or their attorneys responsible for the legal fees incurred.

SharpieGate - 1130 Minute Entry Dismissing by arizonaspolitics on Scribd

 h/t to colleague @modernista64 for bringing the Minute Entry to our attention.

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc.

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

BREAKING: Monday Morning Hearing On AZGOP Contest of Arizona's Presidential Election (READ pleadings); GOP Works With Trump Campaign, Targets Heavily Mormon Area

 There will be a Monday morning hearing on the likely legal contest challenging Arizona's Presidential election, filed by the Chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party.

Kelli Ward filed the legal papers Tuesday afternoon, minutes before closing. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Randall Warner noted the 4:55pm time in his Minute Entry this morning, and noted that the Court is closed on both Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Therefore, the 10:30am hearing on Monday morning will be an immediate hearing.

Arizona's Politics asked AZGOP Communications Director Zach Henry about the action. The Arizona GOP is "working closely with all interested parties, including the RNC and the Trump campaign, to ensure all legal ballots are accurately counted and any fraudulent ballots are not counted." Henry declined to identify who the party was in contact with at the campaign or the RNC, and whether there was an agreement regarding funding.

The AZGOP attorneys - Wilenchik & Bartness - are asking the Court to allow them to begin looking at mail-in ballot envelopes and duplicated ballots in all of Maricopa County. They allege that legal observers from both parties were kept to far away from the adjudication of questioned signatures.

The other part of the likely contest action is that there allegedly were a high number of damaged or illegible ballots in the Queen Creek/Congressional District 5portion of Maricopa County. When that happens, the election workers - in bipartisan teams - inspect and duplicate the ballot so that it can be tabulated, and Ward would like to inspect the original and duplicated ballots. (Representative Andy Biggs won re-election in CD5; however, the district also contains a large number of Republican voters who are members of the LDS Church.)

The proposed Complaint suggests the reason: "The results in CD5/Queen Creek were strongly inconsistent with voter registration data (party affiliation) and with historical voting data (voting in previous elections including the 2016 Presidential election)."

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc.

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Friday, November 20, 2020

DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE: "Sharpiegate 2: The Unknowing" Has Its Disaster Day In Court, Does Not End Well

 There are no remaining court challenges to Arizona voters tilting toward Joe Biden over Donald Trump on November 3.


Judge Margaret Mahoney gave the so-called Sharpiegate plaintiffs a full day in Maricopa County Superior Court on Friday, although she was pleased with neither the lack of a comprehensible case nor courtroom know-how by the attorneys.

Arizona's Law was fortunate to have Chandler attorney Tom Ryan brilliantly live-tweeting the bulk of the all-day evidentiary hearing. (We'll thread it and post it here shortly, followed by a thread of our end-of-the-day coverage.)


Several times during the hearing, attorneys for Maricopa County noted and argued that the county was certifying its vote totals in favor of Biden at about the same time that Mahoney declared "Dismissed with prejudice."

In the meantime, here is a compendium of our previous coverage of Sharpiegate and the court cases that resulted.

BREAKING: Republican National Committee has moved to INTERVENE in Sharpiegate lawsuit

BREAKING: Trump Campaign Sues To Stop Maricopa County Vote Canvass, Blames Poll Workers Who Permitted Overvotes (READ Complaint)




"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc.

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Monday, November 16, 2020

BREAKING: Judge Will Hold Wednesday Hearing To Consider Delaying Maricopa County Canvass of Election Results

A judge will consider a request by the Arizona Republican Party to delay Maricopa County's canvass of election results. The arguments will be heard and considered on Wednesday; the County planned to certify the results on Thursday or Friday.

This is the case brought by the Arizona Republican Party (without the President's campaign), seeking to force the county to hand-audit 2% of *precincts* rather than 2% of *voting centers*. 

The County told Superior Court Judge John Hannah that it planned to canvass - or, certify - the county's results on Thursday, or Friday at the latest. Arizona law requires it be completed by November 23, but also vaguely allows for 6 one-day postponements if some returns are "missing". The Secretary of State is obligated to certify the results of all of Arizona's counties by November 30.

The AZGOP is citing the state's statutes which specify a hand audit of 2% of precinct polling places. Over the past 10 years, several of Arizona's counties have moved away from precinct polling places and now use Voting Centers where people from all over the county can vote. (Not just at your neighborhood precinct polling place.)

The Arizona Election Procedures Manual - which has the effect of law after being approved by the Governor and Attorney General - permits counties to sample 2% of the Voting Centers instead, presumably because the random sample would still audit approximately 2% of the votes.

This is the first election cycle where the Republican-controlled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved the Voting Center model for the state's most populous county. The 2% audit was conducted the week after the election and found zero discrepancies.

The GOP's attorney (Jack Wilenchik) asked for a week "to let the dust settle" and to conduct discovery. That brought a blunt response from Deputy Attorney Joseph LaRue for the County, saying "it is not possible to do what Mr. Wilenchik wants", because the ballots are stored by Voting Center and not by precinct. It would be "a very time-consuming process" to re-sort the ballots in time for the statutory certifications.

Despite having an unrelated week-long trial starting tomorrow, Judge Hannah shortened the time and asked for the parties to file their written arguments by midnight tonight. The hearing will take place Wednesday afternoon.

Maricopa County filed a Motion to Dismiss the case earlier this morning. Neither the judge nor the plaintiffs had had a chance to read it carefully, let alone rule on it or respond to it.

To read the Republican Party's Complaint, please see our previous article

A second case, brought by the conservative Public Interest Legal Foundation, will have an initial hearing this afternoon. That action is kind of an update of their previous lawsuit focused on the  Sharpiegate issue.

Maricopa County Defendants Motion to Dismiss by arizonaspolitics on Scribd


 "AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc.

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Friday, November 13, 2020

BREAKING: AZGOP, Conservative Group File TWO New Cases Challenging Maricopa County Election (READ Complaints

 The Arizona Republican Party now has overlapping lawsuits challenging Maricopa County's conduct of the election, and the Sharpiegate plaintiffs also filed a new lawsuit against the county last night.

Both Complaints were filed yesterday in Maricopa County Superior Court as Judge Daniel Kiley was winding down a full-day trial.

(Clarification, 11:50am: The AZGOP Complaint alleged that the County had not yet conducted its post-election hand-count audit. In fact, it has already taken place. We have added that to the body of this article. h/t to my colleague @modernista64.)

The Arizona GOP - a party to yesterday's action - has retained Jack Wilenchik, his father Dennis and former Republican Party official Lee Miller - to file last night's action. (See below) It claims that the County's election officials - overseen by Recorder Adrian Fontes and the Board of Supervisors - should be required to hand count more ballots.

State law requires a hand count of 2% of the precincts. This year, Maricopa County went to the Vote Center model; that eliminated the precinct polling places present in past elections. The County last week conducted a post-election hand count of 2% of the 175 Vote Centers. The lawsuit claims that they should have actually been required to audit 2% of the 748 precincts in the county. (It would seem that - depending on the locations chosen at random - you would be likely to hand count approximately the same number of ballots.)

The case from the Sharpiegate plaintiffs - which they dismissed this past Saturday - covers most of the same ground of yesterday's trial. That case was brought by Donald Trump's campaign and the Arizona and national Republican committees, and is awaiting the judge's decision. Earlier, Judge Kiley determined that the Sharpiegate plaintiffs could not intervene in yesterday's trial because they had already filed a suit and dismissed it. The plaintiffs are again represented by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (a conservative group) and local attorney Alexander Kolodin.

Here are the new complaints:

Aguilera Complaint #2 by arizonaspolitics on Scribd

AZGOP Complaint #2 by arizonaspolitics on Scribd

"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc.

AZ Law airs on non-profit Sun Sounds of Arizona, a statewide reading service that provides audio access to printed material for people who cannot hold or read print material due to a disability. If you know someone who could benefit from this 24/7 service, please let them know about member-supported Sun Sounds. And, YOU can donate or listen here. 

Previous episodes of AZ Law can be streamed or downloaded here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

UPDATE: "Arizona Kraken" Flails In Court, Judge Sets Two Hearings Next Week To Address TRO, Motions to Dismiss

The federal lawsuit challenging Arizona's results brought by former Trump attorney Sidney Powell (and others) got off to a rough start t...