Candidates Hopeful for Election Challenges After Certification, Since Early Lawsuits Had Less Statutory Backing

The Trump-endorsed slate of candidates in Arizona’s top races who allegedly lost their races have started pursuing legal challenges over what they believe was an election rampant with voter disenfranchisement and suppression. One of the first challenges was turned away on Tuesday as premature, a lawsuit by Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh and the Republican National Committee (RNC), but election law attorneys say this should not be taken as a sign that there are no valid grounds to overturn the election. 

Bob Brickman, an election and regulatory attorney in Phoenix, told The Arizona Sun Times while he “understands the strategy of suing now, since fraud really should be challengeable any time, Arizona law is clear that election challenges cannot be brought until five days after after the state has certified the results, which is scheduled for Dec. 5.” 

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VoterGA Reports Proof of Herschel Walker’s 20,000 Vote Loss in the General Election

VoterGA reported further evidence Friday that the organization said substantiates the more than 20,000-vote decline in Herschel Walker’s U.S. Senate election vote count at 10 p.m. on the night of Election Day last month.

According to a press release from the nonprofit coalition of citizens working to restore election integrity in Georgia, “before and after” screenshots of interim election results reported by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) for the 2022 General Election “show the inexplicable decrease for Herschel Walker.”

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Election Integrity Network Releases Extensive List of Discrepancies Reported in Maricopa County Midterm Election, Slams Officials for ‘Misinformation’

The Election Integrity Network (EIN) has compiled a list of reports from election workers, poll watchers, and volunteer attorneys about questionable things they observed during Maricopa County’s midterm election, which experienced rampant tabulation machine and printer problems. EIN Chairman and election integrity attorney Cleta Mitchell denounced Maricopa County officials for “misinformation” regarding how bad the problems really were.

Cleta said, “Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, Director of Elections Scott Jarrett, and County Recorder Steven Richer presided over a wholly mismanaged and disgraceful election on November 8 that has robbed countless voters of their political voices. Since the polls opened on Election Day, they have misled and misinformed the public about what really happened. But thanks to engaged citizens, we know the truth.”

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WarRoom Battleground: Michael Patrick Leahy on DDoS Attack and Whether Maricopa County Will Certify Elections

Host Stephen K. Bannon welcomed The Star News Network’s CEO and Editor-in-Chief of The Arizona Sun-Times, Michael Patrick Leahy on Friday morning’s War Room: Pandemic to talk about the DDoS attack at The Arizona Sun Times late Wednesday evening and to give his predictions on whether or not Maricopa County in Arizona will certify their elections.

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Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer’s Founding of Partisan PAC Raises Ethical and Legal Questions of Possible Misconduct 

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer is coming under increasing scrutiny after the botched election in Maricopa County, leading some to question his founding and operation of the Pro-Democracy Republicans PAC, whose stated mission is “to support pro-democracy Arizona Republicans” who reject “conspiracy theorists and demagoguery” from candidates who maintain the 2020 presidential election in Arizona was stolen. In the context of the 2022 election, this is an indication of Richer’s direct opposition to GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, GOP Secretary of State nominee Mark Finchem, several state legislators and candidates for Maricopa County Supervisor.

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Rejected, Spoiled Ballots at Maricopa County Vote Centers Mishandled, Election Observers Allege

As many vote centers in Maricopa County experienced issues with election equipment on Election Day 2022, many ballots were rejected by tabulators and spoiled, but not always properly, according to a report filed with the Arizona attorney general’s office.

The affidavit was compiled by Mark Sonnenklar, a roving attorney with the Republican National Committee’s Election Integrity program in Arizona, from observations he and 10 other roving attorneys made as GOP election observers at Maricopa County vote centers. The 11 observers visited a combined 115 of the 223 vote centers in Maricopa County on Election Day.

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WarRoom Pandemic: The Star News Network CEO Michael Patrick Leahy Talks Election Irregularities in Arizona Midterms

Stephen K. Bannon welcomed The Star News Network’s CEO and Editor-in-Chief Michael Patrick Leahy on Tuesday’s War Room: Pandemic to discuss Arizona’s 2022 midterm election process, competence, and irregularities.

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Affidavit Details Election Day Problems in Maricopa Far Wider than County Admitting

Numerous issues plagued vote centers in Arizona’s Maricopa County on Election Day 2022, from ballots rejected by tabulators to hours-long lines for voting, according to affidavits filed with the Arizona attorney general’s office.

According to an affidavit report by Mark Sonnenklar, a roving attorney with the Republican National Committee’s Election Integrity program in Arizona, he and 10 other RNC roving attorneys reported their observations and those of Republican observers at vote centers on Election Day.

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Maricopa County Voting Centers Plagued with Tabulation Errors on Election Day Affected Areas Averaging Well Over 300 Percent More Republicans Than Democrats

Voters encountered problems casting their ballots at 70 of the 223 vote centers in Maricopa County on Election Day, November 8, 2022, resulting in long lines and concerns that ballots ended up not tabulated or “misread,” and commingled with ballots that had already been tabulated. Averaged together, the problems occurred in areas where Election Day voting was more than 300 percent Republican versus Democrat. Of those 70 precincts affected, 59 were in heavily Republican-voting areas, and two were Republican-leaning but not heavily, with only nine from Democrat-leaning or solidly Democrat areas.

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Clinton Global Initiative Funded Energy Project for Raphael Warnock’s Church After His 2016 Campaign Efforts for Hillary Clinton

Georgia U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock’s (D) church reportedly received key funding from the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) for a climate change-related project shortly after he campaigned for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in 2016.

Warnock, who is facing a runoff election against Republican Herschel Walker, has served as pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, which reportedly was the recipient of a $550,000 grant from CGI soon after he stumped for Hillary Clinton during her 2016 campaign for president, Fox News reported Friday.

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Former Local Connecticut Democrat Party Chair Sentenced to Probation and Fines in Absentee Ballot Fraud Case

The former Democrat Party chair of Stamford, Connecticut, was sentenced Monday to two years of probation and $35,000 in fines after being found guilty in an absentee ballot fraud case from the 2015 elections.

Superior Court Judge Kevin Randolph, who found John Mallozzi guilty during his trial last month on 14 counts each of charges of forgery and making false statements in absentee ballots – both felonies, sentenced him to two years of probation and $35,000 in fines.

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Kari Lake Receives 54 Percent of Sunday Night Ballots from Maricopa County, 69 Percent from Pinal County

Election officials released updated results Sunday evening showing Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake gained ground on frontrunner Democrat Katie Hobbs in Maricopa County by 54.6 to 45.4 percent. In Pinal County, Lake bested Hobbs 69.5 percent to 30.5 percent.

In all, the votes of little more than 97,000 of the estimated 192,900 remaining ballots from Maricopa County were tabulated – meaning about 94,000 ballots remain. In Pinal County, an estimated 10,000 ballots are untabulated.

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Calls Emerge for Maricopa County Officials to Resign or Be Recalled After Election Problems

Activists are calling for resignations and recalls as Arizonans – along with the nation – await Maricopa County election officials’ announcements of the definitive results from Tuesday’s 2022 general election.

The state’s most populous county said that 30 percent of voting machine tabulation problems, causing lines of up to two hours in places. Maricopa County Member-at-Large Brian Ference says wants Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer and Bill Gates, chair of the Maricopa County Supervisors, to resign. Robert Canterbury, who unsuccessfully ran against Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman in 2020, is considering starting a recall against Gates, prompting State Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward to respond, “Let me know how I can help.”

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Democrat Gov. Ned Lamont Declares Early Voting Ballot Measure Passed in Connecticut

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) announced a ballot measure for a constitutional amendment to allow in-person early voting in the state had been passed by voters, Hearst media reported Wednesday.

Lamont “said the question had been passed by voters as he began his speech Tuesday night in which he declared victory in his own race,” the report said.

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State Sen. Sonny Borrelli: Over 21,000 Ballots in Five-Percent Sample Appear Illegally Cast in Maricopa County’s 2020 Election

State Sen. and Majority Whip Sonny Borrelli (R-Havasu City) announced on Friday during a presentation that he has discovered at least 21,202 ballots were likely illegally cast during the 2020 election in Maricopa County. A group of concerned citizens he has been working with examined five percent of the voter registration records from Maricopa County residents who voted, and discovered that 1,298 ballots were cast by dead voters, 17,822 were mismatched ballots, along with thousands of other statutory discrepancies.

Borrelli said the findings, which “are just the tip of the iceberg,” and include many “class two misdemeanors,” will be presented to the new legislature next session. He declared, “This is even more of a reason for Prop. 309 to pass, despite the county recorder saying no.” Borrelli was referring to the comprehensive election integrity measure on the ballot this fall, Arizonans for Voter ID, and taking a dig at Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer. The Arizona Attorney General’s Office is looking into whether Richer allegedly used government resources to oppose Prop. 309. Richer started his own PAC for GOP election fraud deniers.

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ASU’s Federalist Society Hosts Voter Fraud Forum Featuring Opposing Perspectives from Left-Wing Lawyer and Fox News Journalist

Two very different perspectives on voter fraud were presented during a forum put on Tuesday by the ASU Federalist Society. Deroy Murdock, a Fox News contributor and contributing editor with National Review Online, argued that there is plenty of evidence of significant voter fraud in the U.S. in recent years. Roy Herrera, an election attorney who has represented the Joe Biden and Mark Kelly political campaigns, asserted that there are minimal problems with voter fraud.

Moderated by Arizona Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick, most of the forum consisted of each speaker explaining their position, with a few questions at the end. Murdock opened by saying it’s “maddening” that the Democrats claim there is no evidence of voter fraud. He said affidavits from people who have seen voter fraud constitute evidence, and referenced the Heritage Foundation’s database of 1,191 voter fraud convictions. 

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Twitter Suspends Mark Finchem’s Account Three Days After Elon Musk’s Takeover, Eight Days Before the Election – UPDATED

Just three days after tech mogul Elon Musk acquired Twitter, promising to bring free speech to the platform, the social media giant suspended Arizona secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem. The election is eight days away, and the Trump-endorsed state representative is running on a platform of combating voter fraud – a contentious topic that raises hackles on the Right and Left.

Finchem received a notice from Twitter Monday afternoon telling him, “We’ve temporarily limited some of your account features.” It went on to say, “We have determined this account violated the Twitter Rules. Specifically for:” However, there was no reason specified.

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Election Integrity Storm Brewing in Pennsylvania: Over 250K Ballots Sent to Voters with Unverified I.D.

More than 250,000 ballots have been mailed to Pennsylvania voters without their identities being verified, according to state data collected by election integrity group Verity Vote.

On Tuesday, 15 Pennsylvania state legislators sent a letter to acting Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Leigh Chapman regarding unverified ballots sent to voters. As of Thursday, state data show that more than 250,000 ballots have been mailed to voters without verifying their identification.

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Judge Rejects Progressive Groups Request for Restraining Order to Shut Down Ballot Drop Box Observers

Voters concerned about ballot harvesting are organizing volunteer shifts observing ballot drop boxes, but some progressive organizations have filed lawsuits attempting to stop them. An organization called Protecting Democracy Project filed a lawsuit this week against the organizers as well as some of the volunteer observers on behalf of the League of Women Voters (LWV). The Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans (AARA) and Voto Latino (VL) also filed a lawsuit.

The LWV lawsuit names Lions of Liberty, which is organizing ballot drop box watching in Yavapai County, its affiliate Yavapai Preparedness Team, Clean Elections USA, which is organizing nationwide efforts, and several individuals and John Does. The AARA and VL lawsuit named similar defendants. The latter lawsuit included a photo of some “Doe Defendants,” revealing three people dressed in normal clothing sitting on lawn chairs. 

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Arizona Corporation Commissioner Warns Officials That Using Electronic Voting Machine Tabulators Violates the Law; Cochise County Agrees to Hand Count Ballots

Arizona Corporation Commissioner Jim O’Connor and a group of concerned Arizonans have made some progress in their efforts to convince Arizona’s counties to refrain from using electronic voting machine tabulators in the Nov. 8 election. The Cochise County Supervisors (CCBOS) voted two to one during a meeting on Monday to conduct a hand count in addition to using the machines, although due to a threat from Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ State Elections Director Kori Lorick, it may only be a partial hand count.

“It’s about the people. It’s about our right to vote and have our votes counted and feel confident in the election process,” Republican board member Peggy Judd said, explaining why the hand count is needed. She said immediately before the vote, “I’d like to take this chance. My heart and my work has been in it and I don’t want to back down. I might go to jail.”

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Two More Indicted in Yuma Ballot-Harvesting Scheme

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced this week that two more defendants, both from San Luis, have been indicted with felonies for conspiracy and ballot abuse over illegally collecting ballots. 

The indictments allege that Gloria Lopez Torres, a San Luis council member and Gadsden Elementary School District Board (GESD) member, collected seven ballots from Nadia Guadalupe Lizarraga-Mayorquin. The latter collected at least one ballot from a third party. The women put the ballots in ballot drop boxes on August 4, 2020, for the city’s municipal election.

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True the Vote Responds to Arizona AG’s Office Requesting FBI Investigation

The election integrity organization True the Vote issued a response over the weekend after the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO) sent a letter to the FBI on October 14 complaining about the group and suggesting the FBI investigate it for “potential violations of the Internal Revenue Code.”

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Yuma County Former Democratic Official and Neighbor Sentenced in Ballot-Harvesting Scheme

The former Democratic mayor of San Luis, Arizona, and a neighbor were sentenced Thursday for their involvement in ballot harvesting. Guillermina Fuentes was sentenced to two years of probation and 30 days in jail. Alma Yadira Juarez, who was caught handling the ballots with the former mayor, was sentenced to a year of probation. 

Prosecutors said Fuentes “appears to have been caught on video running a modern-day political machine seeking to influence the outcome of the municipal election in San Luis.” The documentary 2,000 Mules from filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza and the election integrity group True the Vote spotlighted ballot harvesting in Yuma County, featuring testimony from an anonymous whistleblower there. 

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AG Mark Brnovich Receives Complaint About Maricopa County Recorder Allegedly Using Government Resources to Oppose Election Integrity Ballot Measure

Arizonans for Voter ID filed a complaint Wednesday with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich against Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, alleging that he violated election law by posting a letter on his county website opposing their Proposition 309, which improves voter ID requirements. The complaint alleges violations of A.R.S. 11-410(A) and A.R.S. 16-192(A), which prohibit the use of government resources to influence an election.

Attorney Tim La Sota said in the letter, “I write today to bring to your attention apparent violations of two separate statutes that prohibit the use of public funds to influence an election. To wit, the violations involve a campaign that County Recorder Stephen Richer is waging against Proposition 309, which improves voter identification requirements. Unfortunately, Mr. Richer is using taxpayer money to wage this campaign.” La Sota went on, “This website is not at Mr. Richer’s disposal to use as a campaign website for his favored political causes.”

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Federal Judge Upholds Georgia Election Integrity Practices, Deals Blow to Stacey Abrams

A federal judge ruled Friday that Georgia’s election integrity practices requiring voter ID and citizenship checks are legal and constitutional, rejecting arguments of racism and voter suppression from the state’s Democrat nominee for governor, Stacey Abrams, just weeks before Election Day.

U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones, an Obama appointee, issued the ruling, after a lengthy trial, handing a major victory to Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who aggressively defended the state’s election integrity laws from a legal assault by Abrams voter group Fair Fight Inc. and other liberals.

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Mitch McConnell Backs Electoral Count Reform Bill Ted Cruz Warns All Republicans to Oppose

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced Tuesday he will back legislation that intends to make it more difficult in the future to object to the results of presidential elections.

The Electoral Count Act and Presidential Transition Improvement Act of 2022, a bill sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and supported by other liberal-moderate Republicans, was dismissed, nevertheless, by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who said it is based on Democrats’ belief voter fraud “helps elect more Democrats.”

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As Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward Alleges Maricopa County Broke the Law in the 2022 Primary Election, Groups Launch Drop Box-Watching Operations

The Arizona Legislature was unable to get a bill passed this year clearly banning unmonitored absentee ballot drop boxes, so local activists are organizing schedules of volunteers to watch them, concerned after reports of unusual activity during the primary election this year. Existing law, A.R.S. 16-1005(E), prohibits absentee ballot drop boxes operated by entities other than the government, but legal disputes remain over how much the government is required to monitor them.

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Arizonans Flood Maricopa County Recorder with Requests for ‘Cast Vote Records’ from 2020 Election

Election officials around the country, including the Maricopa County Recorder, saw a flurry of public records requests at the end of August asking for the “cast vote record” (CVR) from the 2020 presidential election. The requests came after My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, who is actively investigating election discrepancies in 2020, urged attendees at his Moment of Truth Summit in August to request them. The CVR reveals the type of ballot used by each voter and how they cast their votes, without exposing their identity.

Walter C. Daugherity, who has a background in computers and engineering, two degrees from Harvard University, and experience in artificial intelligence and quantum computing, submitted a declaration about his analysis of CVRs in a lawsuit filed by Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Trump-endorsed candidate for State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State. Their complaint aims to stop the use of electronic voting machine readers in the Nov. 8 election. 

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Group Sounds Alarm on Arizona Voting Machine Readers Lacking Accreditation

For the last year and a half, three Arizona activists have been investigating the lack of accreditation of voting machine readers used in Arizona. Concerned that the machines are susceptible to fraud — not just fully electronic voting machines but also electronic voting machine readers that are used with paper ballots here in Arizona — the trio has made several unsuccessful attempts legally to halt their use in the elections this year, as well as calling upon elected officials in the state, executive, and legislative branches for assistance.

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Accusations Fly Between Finchem, Fontes During Arizona Secretary of State Debate Focused on Voter Fraud

Trump-endorsed State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) faced off against Democratic former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes in a debate Thursday evening hosted by Clean Elections on KAET PBS. Most of the lively exchange focused on the candidates’ stark differences regarding voter fraud, with Fontes more dismissive and Finchem stating election integrity is a priority. 

Finchem said in his opening statement that he is running due to what’s happened to the office under the current officeholder, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor. He said he wants to “restore honor, integrity, and security” to the position. “It’s not up to the secretary of state to make the law, they enforce the law that’s already laid down.” In addition to other controversies, Hobbs has been involved in a high-profile legal dispute with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich for making changes to the state’s Election Procedures Manual that Brnovich asserts are outside of her authority.

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Trump-Endorsed Mark Finchem Leads Adrian Fontes by over Six Points in Arizona Secretary of State Race: Poll

A new poll from The Trafalgar Group shows Trump-endorsed State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona secretary of state, more than six points ahead of his opponent, Democratic former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes. Conducted between September 14 and 17, the survey of 1,080 likely voters by the Republican-aligned pollster found that 47.5 percent chose Finchem and 41.1 percent chose Fontes.

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Maricopa County Hired 145 More Democratic Poll Workers than Republicans to Staff August Primary Election

The Republican National Committee sent a letter to the Maricopa County Elections Department (MCED) demanding to know why MCED broke the law assigning significantly more Democrats than Republicans to poll worker positions for the August primary election. State law requires that each board handling the election must be “comprised of two members of different political parties,” but the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) discovered through public records requests that 857 Democrats were hired for those positions, while only 712 Republicans were. At 11 voting centers, there wasn’t a single Republican hired. 

Arizona Corporation Commissioner Jim O’Connor, who is leading an effort to stop the use of electronic voting machines in the Nov. 8 midterm election, expressed his concern to The Arizona Sun Times. “This makes no sense, considering there are far more registered Republicans than Democrats in Maricopa County, and Republicans are super eager to serve on these boards due to concerns about voter fraud,” he said. “There were significantly more Republican precinct committeemen compared to Democratic precinct committeemen hired, so it doesn’t pass the smell test that the county couldn’t get enough Republicans overall. Based on Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer’s constant snide remarks belittling Arizonans concerned about voter fraud, it’s like he’s doing it deliberately to stick it to us and raise tensions, at best. At worst…”

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Kari Lake and Mark Finchem Appeal Judge’s Decision to Dismiss Their Electronic Voting Machines Lawsuit

Although the deadline for printing ballots for Arizona’s midterm election on Nov. 8 has passed, ending the time for litigation regarding items that must appear on the ballot, one lawsuit regarding the election continues to wind its way through the courts. After their lawsuit requesting the halting of electronic voting machines in the election was thrown out by an Obama-appointed trial court judge, U.S. District Judge John Tuchi, the attorneys for Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Trump-endorsed State Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, filed a notice of appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Tuchi stated in his order dismissing the case that “speculative allegations that voting machines may be hackable are insufficient to establish an injury in fact,” it was too close to the election to file, and the lawsuit should have been filed in state court, not federal court. 

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Grassroots Groups Pressure Arizona Officials to Follow 110 U.S. Counties and Not Use Voting Machines

Voters concerned about election fraud are increasing the pressure on public officials to take additional steps during elections this year to provide additional security, including counting ballots by hand instead of using electronic voting machines for tabulation. Arizona Corporation Commissioner Jim O’Connor sent all Arizona county election officials and sheriffs a letter on August 30 urging the change, and now grassroots organizations are following up with their own campaign.

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Leahy and Gulbransen Discuss Biden Administration’s Attempt to Federalize Elections

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist, official guest host, and Faith and Freedom Coalition’s State of Tennessee Director, Aaron Gulbransen in-studio to discuss the Biden administration’s executive order in an effort to federalize elections.

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True the Vote Calls Out Arizona AG Criminal Division Over ‘Mishandling’ Its ‘2000 Mules’ Complaint, Unmasking Informants

After over a year of “good faith attempts to work together,” Texas-based election integrity nonprofit True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht and lead investigator Gregg Phillips of the OPSEC Group, an election intelligence company, say they no longer trust the intentions of the Arizona Attorney General Office’s Criminal Division.

The veteran grassroots organizer told The Arizona Sun Times the election integrity group turned over evidence to both the FBI and local law enforcement, including the Criminal Division of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO), and has met with AGO criminal investigators numerous times since first contacting them in the summer of 2021 – all to no effect.

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County Clerk Prosecuted After Exposing Election Discrepancies in Colorado Tells Arizona Republicans Her Story

Legislative District 10 Republicans and Michele Swinick of the Save My Freedom Movement put on an event Wednesday evening featuring the story of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, who says she believes she encountered programming discrepancies with the voting machines in her county in Colorado, and is now being prosecuted for election tampering.

The event included a screening of the documentary about her experience, “Selection Code,” and a Q & A session with both Peters and the documentary producers and directors, Matt and Joy Thayer. The title “Selection Code” refers to programming voting machines in order to choose certain candidates as winners.

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Arizona Corporation Commissioner Urges County Officials to Nix Electronic Voting Machines for November Election

America First leaders and grassroots activists concerned about voter fraud in Arizona are taking steps to put as many security measures as possible for the November 8 election. Jim O’Connor, a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) and a leader in the grassroots community who brought patriots together to sign an “Arizona Election Integrity Declaration” demanding secure elections in May, is now taking his efforts a step further.

O’Connor sent a letter to all Arizona county supervisors, recorders, election directors and sheriffs on Aug. 30 requesting they refrain from using electronic voting machines to tabulate ballots. O’Conner alluded to his responsibilities on the ACC where the commissioners “find bad actors operating in our state causing harm to our state’s investors,” then “perform examinations and investigations, hold hearings, determine guilt,” and “refer criminal activity to our Attorney General’s office for prosecution. He urged, “I cite that judicial role as the basis for my strongest admonition and encouragement for all of our Counties to immediately cease use of all electronic voting machines for this November’s General Election and beyond.”

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The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky on Election Best Practices, Standards, and the Benefits of Hybrid Voting

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation to the newsmaker line to discuss state-by-state election integrity ratings, standards and best practices, and the suggestion of the opti-scan hybrid voting system.

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Arizona Supreme Court Knocks ‘Radical’ Elections Initiative Modeled After Federal HR 1 Off the Ballot

A voting initiative backed by progressive activists won’t be on the ballot this fall in Arizona after the Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that backers failed to provide a valid mailing address to receive certified mail.

The court remanded it to the trial court to determine how many signatures would be invalidated, and after a last-minute dispute between the two courts over how to count the signatures, the Arizona Supreme Court stated on Friday that Arizonans for Free and Fair Elections lacked the required amount of qualifying signatures.

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‘Bad’ Signatures Rejected 14 Times More Often During August Primary Election in Maricopa County than During 2020 General Election

In its final canvass report for the 2022 primary election, Maricopa County says it rejected 14 times more signatures than it did in the 2020 general election. This comes on the heels of Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s finding that the county’s standards for signature verification were “insufficient to guard against abuse.”

“Canvass Queen” Liz Harris, so named after conducting an 11-month long independent grassroots audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, told The Arizona Sun Times, “The entire voting system needs an entire overhaul. Period.”

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State Rep. Parker Blasts Ousted Arizona Speaker Bowers for Calling GOP ‘Fascist’

Republicans furious with Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa), mainly over denying election fraud and blocking election integrity bills, voted him out of office earlier this month, choosing a Trump-endorsed candidate instead. Bowers lost by almost 30 points to former legislator David Farnsworth, who he was running against for Senate (Bowers was term limited in the House). Bowers spoke out about his massive loss during an interview with The Guardian. 

He compared being voted out of office to “fascism.” He said, “The thought that if you don’t do what we like, then we will just get rid of you and march on and do it ourselves — that to me is fascism.” Bowers was referring to voters being upset about a multifaceted election integrity bill he killed using a technical maneuver. Among other things, HB 2596 would have given the legislature the power to reject election results, allowing an elector to call for a new election. 

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Dispute Arises Within Maricopa County GOP Over Member-at-Large Revealing Who Voted Against Censuring Recorder Stephen Richer

After the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) censured Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican, over election integrity failures including denying there was election fraud in 2020, the author of the censure has found himself in hot water. Member-at-large Brian Ference responded to an inquiry in a Telegram channel for Maricopa County precinct committeemen (PCs) asking who voted against the censure. He provided a list of names in the channel — but also included their email addresses and phone numbers, prompting a stern email from the MCRC’s attorney.

Ference issued an apology for including the contact information, but told The Arizona Sun Times he didn’t regret sharing the names, because it exposed “Entrenched establishment Republicans who have proved again and again they offer little to no opposition to Democrats, but instead fight like hellcats against America First MAGA Republicans.”

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Two of Arizona’s New Election Integrity Laws Face Lawsuits

Only three election integrity bills made it into law this past legislative year in Arizona, and at least two of them are now subject to lawsuits from progressives and Democrats. Five lawsuits have been filed against HB 2492, which requires proof of citizenship in order to register to vote — with the exception of voting in congressional elections, which is pre-empted by federal law. Two lawsuits have been filed against SB 1260, which makes it a felony to knowingly help someone to register to vote when the person is already registered in another state.

State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), who sponsored HB 2492, told The Arizona Sun Times, “Since Jim Crow, when the courts were used by Democrats to institutionalize racism against black Americans, the Democrat Party and their operatives have a long track record of exploiting the judiciary branch of our government as a back door for enacting their anti-civil rights agenda.”

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Kari Lake and Mark Finchem Denounce Maricopa County Supervisor’s Motion for Sanctions over Election Integrity Lawsuit

Trump-endorsed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake filed a lawsuit along with Trump-endorsed State Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, in April to block the use of electronic voting machines to count ballots in the 2022 election. The Maricopa County Supervisors responded last week with a motion requesting sanctions against the pair and their attorneys, which include former Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz, asserting that the suit was “frivolous.” 

Finchem tweeted, “The threatened action by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, is nothing more than the attempted weaponization of the judicial process against the political process. If they can’t stand up to scrutiny for elections, that’s their problem — not our problem. Elections must be secure and trustworthy, Maricopa County has demonstrated neither is the case in the last election. “

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Republicans in Arizona’s Largest Legislative District Censure Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates, Call for His Removal from Office

Republicans in Arizona’s Legislative District 3, which is the largest legislative district in the state located in northern Maricopa County around north Scottsdale, issued two censures on August 12. The LD3 GOP censured the FBI for raiding former President Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago, and censured Republican Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates for denying election fraud and opposing Republican candidates for office who believe there was. They called for him to resign and for the Maricopa County Republican Party to encourage Republicans to vote him out of office. 

The censure of Gates began, “Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates has made and continues to make disparaging public comments about Republican Arizona Representatives and Republican candidates during interviews, all while seeming to support Democrat candidates running against them.” 

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Maricopa County GOP Censures Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer over Election Fraud Denials and Mishandling: ‘Resign or Be Recalled’

After an Arizona primary election last week full of anomalies, the Executive Guidance Committee of the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) issued a resolution on August 4 censuring Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican. The resolution cited problems that arose during the election and Richer’s previous denials that election fraud occurred in the 2020 presidential election.

Member-at-large Brian Ference drafted the resolution, which passed 13-11 with two abstentions. It cited “irregularities” in the primary election, including “reports of printers and scanners not working,” “Pentel felt-tip pen smearing and not drying,” and “late counting and delayed results.”

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Investigation Finds, Names the Maricopa County Elections Employee on Video Removing 2020 Election Files from Servers

The Arizona Senate-ordered independent Maricopa County ballot audit of the 2020 presidential election revealed questionable findings, including a Maricopa County Elections Department (MCED) employee captured on video deleting, or what officials stated later was merely archiving, hundreds of thousands of files from an election server the day before the server was to be turned over to the audit. Last weekend, investigative journalist Lara Logan and cyber expert Matt Van Bibber stated at an election security forum hosted by We the People AZ Alliance that the employee has been identified, along with a couple of his co-workers who allowed him access into the election server room.

Van Bibber, who discovered the information through viewing videos and matching what he saw against server room logs, said the employee was Brian Ramirez, a database administrator at MCED. Van Bibber said Ramirez did not have the required credentials to enter the server room where the computer was, so two other employees gave him access with their card keys. One was Kristi Passarelli, assistant elections director, and the other was an employee named Charles Cooley, who appears to be an Administrative/Operations Specialist.

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Arizona Free Enterprise Club Files Lawsuit Against ‘Radical’ Elections Ballot Initiative

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) filed a lawsuit last week against a sweeping elections initiative modeled after the federal HR 1 that is seeking to get on the ballot this fall. The complaint alleges the PAC behind it committed seven statutory violations, including collecting over half the signatures illegally, and provides evidence that many of the initiative’s paid circulators provided false information or failed to register with the Secretary of State.

“After analyzing over 45,000 petition sheets and 420,000 signatures, it’s clear that well over half of the signatures on this election initiative were collected in violation of state law,” said AFEC President Scot Mussi. “That should be more than enough to invalidate this initiative.”

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In Response to ‘2000 Mules,’ Arizona Republican Party Offers $50,000 Reward for Evidence of Vote Buying in 2022 Election

The Arizona Republican Party announced last week that it would reward anyone who provides evidence of vote buying in the 2022 election a $50,000 reward, with up to two rewards. The evidence must lead to an arrest and conviction. 

The press release explains how vote buying occurs, usually with mail-in ballots since they are not secret from everyone. “Unfortunately,” the AZGOP said, “the movement towards mass mail-in voting completely undoes secret ballot reform. Mail-in ballots are not secret — once a person has a ballot in their home, they can easily show it to anyone, including bad actors.” 

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