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Arizona AG candidate Hamadeh's election challenge will proceed to trial

Hamadeh previously filed a challenge, though a judge dismissed it as premature since Arizona law requires that the state certify an election and declare a winner before a candidate can challenge the outcome.

Published: December 20, 2022 6:14pm

Updated: December 20, 2022 6:33pm

Arizona Republican Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh's election challenge will proceed to trial, after an Arizona judge denied Democratic Attorney General-elect Kris Mayes' motion for dismissal.

In the Tuesday ruling, Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee F. Jantzen did dismiss five of Hamadeh's counts, but allowed his other claims to proceed to an evidentiary hearing scheduled for Dec. 23. Presently Hamadeh trails Mayes by 511 votes.

Jantzen noted in the ruling that "[t]his case is different from [other election challenges taking place] because the Plaintiff is not alleging political motives or fraud or personal agendas being pushed. It is simply alleging misconduct by mistake, or omission by election officials, led to erroneous count of votes and which if true could have led to an uncertain result."

The Republican has asserted that rampant voting irregularities such as printer malfunctions may have affected the final outcome of the contest in what has become Arizona's closest statewide race in history.

Hamadeh previously filed a challenge, though a judge dismissed it as premature since Arizona law requires that the state certify an election and declare a winner before a candidate can challenge the outcome.

Jantzen's ruling follows a similar legal win for Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, whose own election challenge will soon proceed to trial as well. Unlike Hamadeh, Lake has alleged intentional misconduct and the judge has required her to prove that errors occurred intentionally and affected the final outcome of her race.

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