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Arizona canvassed its election results and the winning candidates are scheduled to take their oaths of office in January, but a handful of election challenges remain active in the courts.
Some losing GOP candidates have refused to concede their races and hope to find reprieve in lawsuits or other protests.
Kari Lake, Mark Finchem and Abe Hamadeh, who lost races for governor, secretary of state and attorney general, respectively, questioned the election results and filed lawsuits.
Here's where the election challenges stand as of Dec. 14:
WE NEED A NEW ELECTION
— Mark Finchem #JustFollowTheLaw VoteFinchem.com (@RealMarkFinchem) November 21, 2022
Lake campaign files lawsuit
At a proceeding this week the judge set up a hearing schedule for the case.
The lawsuit filed by Lake is broad in its allegations. The 70-page filing asks the judge to declare Lake the winner of the election or at least order a recount of the vote in Maricopa County, where Lake claims issues with election equipment and long lines disenfranchised her voters, twice citing public polling as evidence of her victory.
The defendants will seek a dismissal.
Finchem files suit
Finchem filed his lawsuit Friday with Congressional candidate Jeff Zink, who later dropped from the action. They initially challenged their losses by saying Arizona’s election was not full, fair or secure, and the court should therefore nullify it.
Finchem lost the election for secretary of state to Democrat Adrian Fontes by more than 120,000 votes. Zink lost his longshot Congressional race against incumbent Democrat Ruben Gallego by over 76,000 votes.
While setting up a schedule for the case Tuesday morning, an attorney for the Secretary of State's Office called those claims “baseless” and “sanctionable.” Hobbs, who is Arizona's election chief, is named as a defendant in both cases.
The defendants likewise will seek a dismissal of this case.
Hamadeh's second lawsuit over election
Hamadeh, who lost the election for attorney general to Kris Mayes, filed a second lawsuit seeking to overturn the results and have a judge declare him the winner.
The 30-page complaint was filed in Mohave County Superior Court, and named as defendants Mayes, Secretary of State and Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs, as well as county officials from across the state who are collectively referred to as "County Defendants."
Defendants are seeking to get the case dismissed. A hearing Wednesday set a tentative schedule for the case.
Hamadeh's first suit was dismissed by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Randall Warner after a court hearing Monday where lawyers debated the timing of the filing.
Hamadeh lost to Mayes by 511 votes. Due to the closeness of the outcome, a recount as required by state law is underway.
A Twitter account affiliated with the candidate urged supporters to call upon Maricopa County officials to hold off on certifying the election results until the litigation plays out, but that didn't happen. Counties were required to certify results by Nov. 28 by statute, which is when the county canvassed its results and sent them to the secretary of state.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisor intend to certify this election Monday morning before court proceedings can begin.
Please contact your board member & ask them to delay certification until the outstanding election issues are resolvedhttps://t.co/QNxydVPStk
— Abe Hamadeh War Room (@AbeWarRoom) November 23, 2022
Lawmaker Borrelli files lawsuit
State Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, filed a lawsuit in Mohave County Superior Court seeking to "invalidate and set aside" the Maricopa County election results because it asserts there are problems with the way signatures were verified on mail-in ballots.
Hobbs and Maricopa County officials are named as defendants.
The lawsuit claims that the county inappropriately used artificial intelligence to verify the signatures voters must provide on the envelopes used to send back their mail-in ballots. It says that is inappropriate because artificial intelligence often contains "inevitable, often unconscious cognitive bias" of the people who create it.
It also suggests that humans who verify signatures are not properly trained.
County Recorder Stephen Richer's office provide a response to the lawsuit stating that it didn't use the software alleged in the complaint.
“Maricopa County has never used artificial intelligence to verify signatures on early ballot envelopes. All signatures are verified by humans — both at the initial review level and at the manager level," the statement said. "These humans receive training before every election cycle. The accuracy of this process was previously affirmed in the 2020 election contest challenge styled Ward v. Jackson."
Lake files records suit against Maricopa County
Kari Lake previously filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County officials accusing them of breaking election laws and demanding they provide information about voters whose ballots were affected by Election Day printer issues.
Seventy of the county's 223 voting centers experienced problems with on-site printers producing ballots too light for vote-counting machines to read on Election Day, causing frustration and long lines for voters. Lake's filing alleges that as many as 118 voting locations may have experienced problems.
Lake's suit asks for numerous public records, including names and contact information for voters at polling sites that experienced printer malfunctions, the number of ballots spoiled on Election Day, adjudication rates by legislative district and the number of ballots sent to overseas voters and their verification processes.
"These public records are vital to the integrity of the election process and necessary to show, ahead of canvassing, that every legal ballot was properly counted," the suit reads.
The defendants have asked for a dismissal after providing a substantial quantity of information to the campaign.
Cochise County sued after refusal to certify
Compelled by a court order, the Cochise County Board of Supervisors certified the results of the Nov. 8 election on a 2-0 vote on Dec. 1.
The vote ended a weekslong election drama spooling out of the southeastern Arizona county.
Cochise County supervisors initially declined to certify their election and immediately were hit with two lawsuits seeking court orders for them to do so.
Every other county in the state had certified its election.
The Arizona Alliance of Retired Americans and Cochise County resident Stephani Stephenson filed the first complaint, followed by a lawsuit from Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
Both lawsuits, filed in Cochise County Superior Court, ask the court to order the three-member board to certify election results, as required by law. And they ask for action by Thursday so the statewide canvass scheduled for Dec. 5 can proceed with results from all Arizona voters.
Cochise County is in rural southeastern Arizona, bordering New Mexico on the east and Mexico on the south. Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, Sierra Vista, Tombstone and Willcox are its biggest cities.
The Secretary of State's office and two former prosecutors have referred the Cochise supervisors for criminal investigation over the matter.
The two GOP county commissioners who refused to certify the election previously fought to conduct a hand count of ballots. When they gave up that fight, they argued that they needed "proof" the county voting equipment and the testing lab that certified it both were properly accredited.
One of the two supervisors holding up the certification confirmed to The Arizona Republic that she intended to certify the results as required by law on Nov. 28 but then flip-flopped when that day came.
Mohave County delayed certifying its results
Three county supervisors in Mohave County initially decided to delay their certification in November in what they called a show of solidarity with Cochise officials.
The Mohave GOP supervisors who voted to delay didn't have concerns about the certification of voting machines like those in Cochise.
The Mohave supervisors were frustrated with Election Day problems in Maricopa County. The state's biggest county had problems that included printers that generated ballots that couldn't be read by scanners, long lines at polling sites, and confusing directions from officials on how voters should proceed if they encountered issues.
The Mohave supervisors also were dissatisfied that it took so long to count the county's approximately 1.5 million votes, though Maricopa officials have said state laws regarding how ballots are returned and counted, not county procedures, are the cause of those delays.
The Mohave officials said the delay was nothing more than a "political statement."
Attorney General's Office demands answers
The request was conveyed in a letter dated Nov. 19 to Thomas Liddy, civil division chief at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, and signed by assistant attorney general Jennifer Wright.
In its response, Maricopa County officials disputed most of the major issues state investigators raised about the conduct of the election but said further answers would have to wait, given upcoming duties to canvass the election and then to recount three races that were on the ballot.
State GOP demands answers
On Nov. 22, state GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward sent a letter to Maricopa County demanding answers to her own set of questions that deal with the election.
— Republican Party of Arizona (@AZGOP) November 22, 2022
Among her questions was how the county will conduct the recount triggered by the close races.
"While disclosing the records reflecting this data and the process for reconciling these issues cannot restore the loss of suffrage for voters who were disenfranchised by the long lines and confusion, it is absolutely necessary for immediate transparency," Ward wrote.
"Given the systemic election failures experienced by voters in Maricopa County on Election Day, it is of paramount importance that a full accounting of every reconciled ballot and checked-in voter be done to assure the public that every vote was properly counted."
Kelly Townsend demands answers
Outgoing state Sen. Kelly Townsend, R-Apache Junction, sent Maricopa County officials a subpoena demanding they answer questions about election problems by 9:30 a.m. Nov. 28.
Townsend chairs the Senate Government Committee.
Townsend said the information is needed to help craft legislation in the upcoming session, which starts in January. She said the rush order on the information was needed to help calm concerns about the election problems.
Maricopa County GOP chair won't OK equipment test
A month after approving the results of pre-election tabulator tests, Maricopa County GOP Chair Mickie Niland refused to sign off on a post-election test of the equipment.
She said she no longer believes the examinations go far enough to ensure public trust in the machines and election officials' preparedness.
"My primary reason for not signing this test is I feel the test is largely obligatory, and is not a comprehensive test of their preparedness," she said in a statement.
Niland refusing to sign off on the tests did not halt the election certification process.
New lawmaker won't vote without a redo
Considering Republicans only have a single-person majority in both the House and Senate, her threat is milquetoast. Any legislation that would only pass by a single GOP vote would likely see a veto from the newly elected Democrat Gov. Katie Hobbs.
#AZRevote sit-in at Capitol
People dissatisfied with the election results planned protested Nov. 25 at the Capitol and were using the hashtag "#AZRevote" to promote the demonstration.
Harris organized the event and calling for an audit, not a recount, of ballots cast in the election.
Republic reporter Sasha Hupka contributed to this article.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona election 2022: A roundup of all the challenges so far