On Tuesday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said he believed the state will certify a victory for Joe Biden on November 30. “There’s no reason at to this point,” said Ducey in a radio interview referring to an audit, “with what’s happening inside the legal system, that that wouldn’t go forward, and that is my expectation.”
Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman and Trump presidential elector, Dr. Kelli Ward filed a petition on Tuesday with the Court to allow discovery to begin in advance of a challenge to the November 30 statewide election canvass.
In the 2020 General Election, Arizona’s counties mailed out 3,490,271 ballots. Every voter who casts a ballot at a polling place must present acceptable photo identification. Conversely, the only form of verification the State requires for mail-in ballots is a signature on the outside of the return envelope.
According to Ward, a “formal legal elections challenge is expected to be filed soon alleging that the process used to validate ballots returned by mail was legally insufficient. The critical process of verifying a signature determines whether a vote is counted. The suit also raises chain-of-custody issues with re-constructed, or “duplicate,” ballots in Maricopa County.”
Ward alleges that no political party was provided with a meaningful way to independently monitor the vote-by-mail signature verification process.
The Republican Party of Arizona has received signed statements from numerous observers who have testified that they were kept at a substantial distance from those performing the verification process, rendering it impossible to know whether the verification protocols were being followed.
As Ward notes in a press release, no lawsuit directly challenging the statewide canvass can be filed before the canvass is complete, which will likely occur on November 30, 2020. Given the number of ballot envelopes that will potentially need to be inspected, the lawsuit seeks to begin the process of discovery as soon as possible.
Jenna Ellis, an attorney for President Trump, announced that Arizona would be holding hearings on November 30. However, according to sources, Ellis was misled by Rep. Mark Finchem, who claimed he would be hosting a hearing at the Capitol. House Speaker Rusty Bowers and Senate President Karen Fann deny approving any such hearing.
Finchem, who has earned a reputation for buying into conspiracy theories and challenged Bowers for the speaker spot this year, has been privately condemned by many of his colleagues for what they see as “a desperate attempt at relevancy.”
One legislator, Rep. Walt Blackman issued a statement in support of an audit and announced that he is hosting a stakeholder meeting with county recorders next week.
“I believe it is important that we investigate the 2020 election as there is clearly a concern and many voters have lost faith in the integrity of the Arizona voting system,” said on social media. “It is irresponsible to hold unsanctioned hearings at the Capitol when we have not completed a full audit and investigate to ensure there is solid evidence in regards to voter fraud. This behavior causes confusion, distrust and cheapens the process. I have faith that the Trump team is equipped with knowledgeable legal council and I will do what I can to support them when and if my assistance is needed.”