As polls on the East Coast began to close Tuesday night, lawyers for Republican candidates in Arizona filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County over the day's polling place issues that Katie reported here Tuesday morning.
Plaintiffs named in the complaint filed in Arizona Superior Court include the Republican National Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee, Blake Masters' U.S. Senate campaign, and Kari Lake's gubernatorial campaign. Their action names Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors members Jack Sellers, Thomas Galvin, Bill Gates, Clint Hickman, and Steve Gallardo.
Harmeet Dhillon — who Kari Lake brought in to lead her campaign's Election Day legal efforts — tweeted out a link to the complaint on Tuesday evening.
Their lawsuit alleges that "[a]t least 36% of all voting centers across Maricopa County have been afflicted with pervasive and systemic malfunctions of ballot tabulation devices and printers, which has burdened voters with excessive delays and long lines" and that "numerous individuals presenting to vote at some or all of these locations were unlawfully induced by poll workers to discard their ballots or otherwise forfeit their opportunity to cast a legally sufficient vote."
The Republicans' suit also alleges that when voters encountered the issues, "certain voters whose ballots could not be read by the tabulation device were erroneously informed by poll workers that they could spoil their ballot, present at a different voting location later (where, presumably, the tabulators were properly functioning), and cast a valid, regular ballot. In fact, voters who followed these instructions were, at the second voting location, either denied an opportunity to vote at all, or were required to vote a provisional ballot, which, upon information and belief, will not be tabulated," the suit adds.
Due to these issues, the Republicans' lawsuit (embedded in full below) seeks a temporary restraining order to:
- extend voting hours in Maricopa County until 10:00 p.m. on November 8
- suspend the public release of any tabulated early ballot returns in Maricopa County until 11:00 p.m. on November 8
- instruct the inspector at every polling location that voters who choose to spoil their ballot and leave the voting center without casting a ballot must be "checked out" in the electronic pollbook
- instruct the inspector at every polling location that voters whom the e-pollbook have recorded as having previously voted in this election must be permitted to complete and cast a provisional ballot
The lawsuit adds that "immediate judicial intervention is necessary to prevent irreparable injury to the Plaintiffs, vindicate the clear directives of the Arizona Legislature, ensure the fair and equal treatment of all Maricopa County electors guaranteed by the Arizona Constitution, and secure the integrity of the results of the November 8, 2022 general election."
The Republican National Committee — one of the plaintiffs in the suit — said the "widespread issues – in an election administered by Democrat Secretary of State Katie Hobbs – are completely unacceptable, especially as Republicans flock to the polls to vote in-person on Election Day. We have dozens of attorneys and thousands of volunteers on the ground working to solve this issue and ensure that Arizona voters have the chance to make their voices heard," the RNC added.