Arizona GOP Files Lawsuit Demanding Hand-Count Audit of Votes by Precinct Rather than Voting Centers

RENTON, WA - AUGUST 04: Elections workers audit military and overseas ballots at the King County Elections headquarters on August 4, 2020 in Renton, Washington. Today is election day for the primary in Washington state, where voting is done almost exclusively by mail. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
David Ryder/Getty Images

The Arizona Republican Party has filed a lawsuit demanding a hand recount of votes by precinct rather than voting centers, contending that Maricopa County is not following state law.

The lawsuit, announced on Thursday, demands a hand recount of votes by sampling precincts rather than “voting centers,” which Maricopa County provided in this year’s presidential election. Voting centers allow voters from any precinct to cast their ballots.

“There is a fundamental difference between sampling ‘polling centers’ and ‘precincts,’ most notable being the fact that there were only around 175 voting centers in this election but there were 748 precincts,” the Republican Party of Arizona said in a statement, announcing the legal challenge.

“Hand counting by precinct would therefore potentially result in a more precise sampling of votes,” it added:

In other words, the Arizona GOP does not believe a hand-count audit of two percent of 175 voting centers is sufficient. Rather, there should be a hand-count audit covering two percent of the 748 precincts.

“The outcome of this case could be Trump’s only path to victory in Arizona,” KAWC News reported.

Dr. Kelli Ward, chairwoman of the Republican Party of Arizona, provided background on the lawsuit in a statement on Friday.

“In the past, voters were assigned a polling place inside their precinct. The Secretary of State Katie Hobbs wrote an election procedures manual stating that now we’re going to a voting center model,” she said.

“The fact of the matter is, we have to determine whether state statute as it exists is actually supreme to a manual written by a member of the executive branch,” she continued, adding that she “personally” believes state statute reigns supreme.

“So we are asking that that be clarified and that lawsuit is going forward,” she added.

Ward also addressed the slim margin between the two candidates and said that they are, indeed, getting “close to recount territory”:

Now about the count. The count is 0.3 percent separating the two candidates — President Trump from the other guy. That is too close to call. There are still over 10,000 votes to count and I think it was inappropriate for media outlets to call that election on election night or any time now. We are getting close to recount territory here and we are working — the Republican Party of Arizona with the Trump campaign, with the RNC — to ensure that every legal vote cast is counted in the way that the voter intended. We are fighting for you.

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) praised the Arizona GOP’s efforts.

“Ask the legal team to file a motion for an injunction to preserve all paper ballots and envelopes and to freeze access to the software,” he added. “Not long ago @katiehobbs said she would use her office to only help Democrats. #wehaventforgotten”:

President Trump trailed Biden in Arizona by roughly 11.4 thousand votes as of Friday morning, but he believes he can “easily” take the state with an audit of “total votes cast”:

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