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Arizona Judge Dismisses Finchem Election Lawsuit

— December 16, 2022

The lawsuit, filed by the failed Republican nominee for Arizona Secretary of State, was dismissed with prejudice.

An Arizona judge has dismissed the elections lawsuit filed by Mark Finchem, who failed Republican nominee for secretary of state.

According to The Hill, Finchem lost to his Democratic opponent, Adrian Fontes, by about 120,000 votes.

However, in his lawsuit, Finchem alleged that he only lost because of widespread voting regularities.

Attorneys for the failed conservative candidate say that widespread voting problems in Maricopa County could have cost their client about 200,000 votes—more than enough to change the outcome of the election.

The Hill reports that printer issues occurred at about 70 of Maricopa County’s 223 voting centers on Election Day, causing the ink on some ballots to be too light for tabulators to read.

A 2016 image of a ballot drop box in Boulder County, Colorado. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr/user:pasa47 . (CCA-BY-2.0).

However, Maricopa County election officials claim that the local government responded to these concerns by providing voters with alternatives: they could wait in line, vote at a different voting center, or simply place their ballot into a box to be counted later.

Nevertheless, both Finchem and Kari Lake—the pro-Trump Republican nominee for governor, who ultimately lost the race by nearly 20,000 votes—say that these issues effectively disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of Arizona conservatives, who are more likely to vote in-person on Election Day than to cast their ballots in advance.

Finchem further alleged that many voting machines in Arizona were not properly certified and had not been tested by independent experts.

The Hill notes that neither Finchem nor his lawyers provided any evidence for their claims.

In her ruling, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Melissa Julian rejected Finchem’s lawsuit, finding that the Election Assistance Committee, or EAC, supervises the state’s accreditation process.

Somewhat intriguingly, Finchem tried to undermine the EAC’s processes by noting that the Committee’s own protocols state that voting machine certificates must be signed by the organization’s chair.

Since the November 2022 certificates were instead signed by the EAC’s executive director, Finchem argued, the results should have been discarded in their entirety.

Nevertheless, Judge Julian wrote in her ruling that Finchem’s arguments were largely speculative.

Julian also dismissed Finchem’s allegations that Secretary of State Katie Hobbs had committed misconduct in her oversight of the Arizona elections, writing that none of Hobbs’ purported errors reached the definition of “misconduct” necessary to sustain an election lawsuit.

Fontes, who earlier petitioned the court to dismiss Finchem and Lake’s separate lawsuits, celebrated the ruling on Twitter.

“Tonight’s ruling is about protecting the will of the voters, not about any single politician,” Fontes wrote.


Arizona Republican loses election lawsuit in secretary of state race

Finchem response to motion to dismiss rife with errors, evidence-free theories

Judge dismisses Finchem lawsuit with prejudice

Judge tosses out lawsuit filed by Mark Finchem challenging election results

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