PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Republican Party in Maricopa, Apache, Navajo and Yuma counties have teamed up to sue outgoing Secretary of State Michelle Reagan and the recorders in all 15 of Arizona’s counties.

According to the complaint, the groups are challenging the method by which signatures are verified on early ballots that were dropped off in person at polling places on Election Day.

[RELATED: Did you vote by mail in Arizona? Check your ballot status here]

The specific issue is how counties have allowed voters to fix problems with signatures on mailed-in early ballots. It varies county to county.

[PDF: Click here to read the complaint]

[AND THIS: Plaintiffs' motion for temporary restraining order]

"A uniform and impartial adherence to the law is vital to public confidence in the Arizona electoral system and its outcomes," reads the complaint. "By implementing and enforcing disparate deadlines by which Arizona voters may rehabilitate an early ballot deemed facially deficient, the State's 15 County Recorders (the "County Recorders" or "Defendants") are undermining the constitutional guarantee that all Arizonans are entitled to cast a ballot on equal terms, irrespective of their geographic location within the state. This Court should require all County Recorders to enforce an equivalent deadline to ensure that Arizona voters across the state receive an equal opportunity to vote in the November 6, 2018 general election."

About three-quarters of Arizona voters cast ballots by mail. But many ballots known as “late earlies” arrive in the mail on Election Day, in the few days leading up to it or are hand delivered by the voters themselves. Those ballots can create logjams at the state’s 15 county recorders’ offices where vote counting is conducted.

Maricopa County, which is still tabulating hundreds of thousands of ballots, is expected to post its latest results Thursday at 5 p.m.

With the Arizona’s Senate race between Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema still too close to call, those ballots could be the deciding factor.

[MORE ON THAT: Outstanding early ballots could benefit Arizona's Democratic candidates]

At last check Wednesday night, McSally was leading by a slim 17,000-vote margin.

[WATCH: Arizona races that are too close to call]

It could be several days – even weeks – before the race can been called.

[RELATED: County recorder explains why ballot counting takes so long in Maricopa County]

[AND THIS: 472,000 ballots left to be counted in Maricopa County]

The complaint, which was filed Wednesday, singles out the state’s two biggest urban counties, which are the base of Sinema’s support.

Maricopa Country Recorder Adrian Fontes tweeted a two-word response to news of the suit at 9:20 Wednesday night. 

"Bring it," he posted.

The lawsuit asks a judge to prevent the county officials from counting certain ballots that were delivered with signature issues. It’s unclear how many of those ballots exist.

[APP USERS: Click here for poll]

There is a hearing on the suit scheduled in Maricopa County Superior Court Friday morning.

[INFO YOU NEED: 7 things you need to know about Arizona's midterm election]

[CHECK: Live election results]

[GET: Arizona's Family news app]

The county recorders

  • Apache County - Edison Wauneka
  • Cochise County - David Stevens
  • Coconino County - Patty Hansen
  • Gila County - Sadie Jo Bingham
  • Graham County - Wendy John
  • Greenlee County - Berta Manuz
  • La Paz County - Shelly Baker
  • Maricopa County - Adrian Fontes
  • Mohave County - Kristi Blair
  • Navajo County - Doris Clark
  • Pima County - F. Ann Rodriguez
  • Pinal County - Virgina Ross
  • Santa Cruz County - Suzanne Sainz
  • Yavapai County - Leslie Hoffman
  • Yuma - Robyn Stallworth Pouquette

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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(14) comments


Won't do much good. the liberals (democrats) have stuffed the court system with ultra liberal judges who do not care if the law is followed or not, as long as democrats come out ahead. There IS voter fraud in this state. At one time I heard a college student brag that he had registered and voted in Maricopa county while getting an absentee ballot from his home state and voting there as well. That was the year Bill Clinton won.


Every LEGAL vote should be counted. That is not the same as EVERY vote should be counted. Officials of my state, Arizona, should stand on the LAW and make sure the rules are followed. Grant already sold out to the Democrat. He is not in any way objective.

So no, not EVERY vote should be counted.

Every LEGAL vote should be counted.


"Legal" votes meaning what? Voter fraud is a MYTH. It's a high-risk low reward crime. Instances of actual voter fraud are extremely rare, but you'd never realize that because you probably believe every Democrat somehow votes 3,000 times. It's a stupid belief not based in reality. IT DOESN'T HAPPEN.


Absentee ballots are often counted for days after the election since many are coming from abroad; two, absentee ballots are often a small percentage of all voted ballots. Many elections have a clear winner, so the absentee ballots that are still being counted after election night don't affect the results as predicted right after the polls close. As absentee voting becomes more popular, however, an increasing number of elections are decided by absentee ballots. I don't care if your republican or democrat ALL votes should be counted.


All LEGAL votes should be counted.


Were you born with your head up your arse, or did it just migrate there over time?

Bonn Bonn

If you are counting "early" ballots, signatures must be verified. Jeez, how hard is that? Makes you wonder why so many were dropped off at the last minute? It's not like this is a surprise election and people were caught off guard.


People work, some people forget, people don't trust the mail, etc. There are many VALID reasons for dropping off your early ballot at the polls on election day. *I* did this on election day. It's ridiculous to hear the skepticism-- "makes you wonder why so many were dropped off blah blah blah..." Seriously, shut up. There's no elaborate conspiracy here, moron. Did you even vote? Probably not. So shut up.


When you can't win outright, you have to cheat.


It's a shame the Republicans have to resort to something like this.


yeah, and the Dems have never done anything like this.


No, they don't use sh*tty underhanded tactics, the problem is they take the high road. Look at your president-- firing the AG to get a loyalist in. That's beyond unscrupulous, it may be illegal (just pile that on to all the other illegal sh*t he's done). However, a steady diet of Faux News and Alex Jones will have you believing liberals are evil incarnate.


Its a shame Republicans want the law to be followed?


The suit won't amount to anything. They're running scared. It's a last-minute desperate attempt to cast an aura of suspicion over the election (which the rubes will eat up nicely.)

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