Monday night, came the news that Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson had ordered gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s election lawsuit to proceed to a two-day trial prior to January 2, 2023.
Following on its heels, on Tuesday afternoon, Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee Jantzen ruled that Republican Abraham Hamadeh, candidate for Attorney General, could proceed with his suit as well.
Lake’s campaign Twitter account cheered the legal victory:
We are delighted to hear that @AbrahamHamadeh's legal challenge will be going to trial.
Well done and good luck, Abe!
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) December 20, 2022
Hamadeh, a former prosecutor and an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, tweeted following the ruling:
Maricopa County’s failures on Election Day need to be investigated. The court’s ruling is a small step toward restoring confidence in our electoral process. I am confident that had Maricopa County run a competent election we would not have to be in this litigation position.
— Abe Hamadeh (@AbrahamHamadeh) December 20, 2022
The race between Hamadeh and Democrat Kris Mayes was decided by 511 votes — less than .02 percent.
Under Arizona law, he faces the high bar of proving not just that election officials erred but that he would have won without their misconduct.
Hamadeh lost to Democrat Kris Mayes by 511 votes out of 2.5 million. His lawsuit alleges that problems with printers in Maricopa County led to a series of issues that disenfranchised voters. He also alleges his race was affected by improper handling of ballots that were duplicated or adjudicated by humans because they could not be read by tabulators.
Jantzen said Hamadeh can inspect ballots in Maricopa, Pima and Navajo counties. Mayes won Maricopa and Pima counties, home to Phoenix and Tucson. Hamadeh won Navajo County, though it’s home to a large Native American population that heavily favored Mayes.
Jantzen made no comment on the merits of Hamadeh’s claims, but ruled that he’s entitled to gather witnesses and evidence in an attempt to prove them.
The trial currently is set for Friday and we’ll provide an update when there is a ruling.