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.
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