Three Republican nominees for state government positions in Arizona have filed lawsuits to formally contest the results of their midterm election races that saw their Democratic opponents win.
Candidates have five days following certification to formally contest election results in court.
Current Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, certified herself as the winner of the gubernatorial race after results showed she beat Lake by about 0.6 points, or 17,117 votes out of about 2.5 million cast. Hobbs had faced calls prior to the election to recuse herself from her duties as the state's top election official.
Democrat Kris Mayes beat Hamadeh by a margin of 511 votes out of 2.5 million cast, making it one of the closest contests in state history. Meanwhile, Democrat Adrian Fontes beat Finchem by about 4.8 points, or 120,208 votes out of 2.5 million cast.
According to Arizona law, any race in which the margin is within 0.5 points automatically goes to a recount. As such, the race for Arizona attorney general went to a recount on Dec. 7. Two other races—the state superintendent race and a state House race, also went to a recount on the same day. A judge is set to announce the results of the recounts by Dec. 22.
Lake LawsuitLake filed a 70-page lawsuit (pdf) against Hobbs as a candidate as well as in her official capacity as a secretary of state and other top Arizona election officials on Dec. 9.
Among other demands for relief, Lake is seeking an order to "[set] aside the certified result of the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election and declaring that Kari Lake is the winner" of the election, or in the alternative, an order "vacating the certified results" of the election and an injunction requiring that Maricopa County re-conduct the election "in conformance with all applicable law and excluding all improper votes."
Lake, who has refused to concede to Hobbs, argued in the Dec. 9 lawsuit that "hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots infected the election in Maricopa County" and that the number of illegal votes cast in the election "far exceeds the 17,117 vote margin" in the gubernatorial race.
Attorneys for Lake said in the filing that "thousands of Republican voters were disenfranchised" amid problems in connection with "widespread tabulator or printer failures."
Citing whistleblower and witness testimony, attorneys alleged that Maricopa County officials "violated Arizona chain of custody laws for hundreds of thousands" of mail-in ballots. With no chain of custody, there is "no way to tell whether over 300,000 ballots cast in Maricopa County are legal ballots," they wrote.
Maricopa County election officials also "permitted the counting of tens of thousands of mail-in and drop box ballots that did not satisfy signature verification requirements," including allowing "tens of thousands of ballots with signature mismatches."
The latest suit comes after Lake on Nov. 23 sued election officials in Maricopa County in a separate lawsuit, demanding a response to her public records request seeking election records regarding mechanical issues on Nov. 8, so she can challenge the results of the election.
Hamadeh, RNC LawsuitHamadeh joined the Republican National Committee (RNC) and others in filing an election contest lawsuit (pdf) against Hayes, as well as Hobbs and other top state election officials.
Attorneys for Hamadeh and the RNC noted in the filing that plaintiffs are not alleging "fraud, manipulation or other intentional wrongdoing" in the election, but are bringing the lawsuit "to ensure that all lawfully cast votes are properly counted and that unlawfully cast votes are not counted."
The filing alleges that the Nov. 8 election "was afflicted with certain errors and inaccuracies in the management of some polling operations," the cumulative effects of which is "material to the race for Arizona Attorney General."
"Arizona law permits any elector to initiate a contest proceeding to ensure that inaccuracies or illegalities in the canvassed returns are judicially remedied, and the declared result conforms to the will of the electorate," the filing reads.
"The court system is the proper place for campaigns challenging the results to make their case. Maricopa County respects the election contest process and looks forward to sharing facts about the administration of the 2022 General Election and our work to ensure every legal voter had an opportunity to cast their ballot."
Finchem LawsuitFinchem, the Republican candidate for Arizona secretary of state, alongside GOP congressional candidate Jeff Zink, filed a lawsuit against Fontes and Zink's opponent Ruben Gallego, as well as Hobbs in her official capacity as the current secretary of state.
Among multiple requests, the suit asked that the court order a referral to the state's attorney general to investigate Hobbs for "willful acts in violation of impartiality." It also asked for a potential paper ballot revote.