Yesterday, America First Legal (AFL) filed an amicus brief with the Arizona Supreme Court in the election contest of Arizona Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh.
Before the trial in this case had even started, election officials in Arizona had already finished a mandatory recount in this race. That recount showed that, because of mistakes in tabulation, the lead of Hamadeh’s opponent had narrowed from 511 votes to just 280 votes (out of more than 2 million cast). Yet, even though the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office knew about this mistake and that margin had narrowed, she and her lawyers withheld that information from Hamadeh during the trial. The Secretary’s lawyer even made arguments to the judge that presupposed Hamadeh had to overcome a 511-vote deficit to win his case rather than the 280 votes that were the real margin. The Secretary of State’s office also opposed at every turn Hamadeh’s lawful attempts to inspect ballots, including provisional ballots, to prepare for his case.
Only after Hamadeh’s case had concluded were the recount results released. And only after the case was over did election officials finally respond to Hamadeh’s requests for important election documents. When they finally delivered those documents, Hamadeh and his team discovered that there were major problems with voters’ registrations being involuntarily canceled, thus forcing a larger-than-normal proportion of voters to cast provisional ballots, which never ended up being counted.
Because of these irregularities, Hamadeh moved that the trial judge grant a new trial to fully and fairly adjudicate all of these issues that had been hidden during the first trial. After months of waiting, the judge finally denied the motion last month.
The amicus filed by America First Legal explains to the Arizona Supreme Court why it should take the case and order the trial court to give Hamadeh a new trial. This is the only way to ensure that all the lawful votes in this race are counted.
America First Legal will always support the principle that the person with the most lawful votes is the winner of an election. This amicus stands in strong support of that principle.
Statement from America First Legal Senior Counsel, James Rogers:
“The only way that the candidate with the highest number of lawful votes can be declared the winner of an election is if every lawful vote is properly counted. That’s what election contests are supposed to do: to make sure that mistakes are fixed, and all lawful votes get counted. But that can’t happen when election officials hide information from candidates and throw up every possible obstacle to keep them from discovering the truth. America First Legal filed this amicus to show our strong support for the principle that elections should be fair and election officials should never be playing favorites.“ said James Rogers.
Read the brief here.