PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Maricopa County Superior Court judge is set to listen to the Arizona GOP Friday challenge all 15 county recorders in the state.  

[ORIGINAL STORY: Arizona Republicans suing Secretary of State Michelle Reagan, all county recorders over early ballots]

Republican Party leaders from Maricopa, Apache, Navajo, and Yuma counties think it's unfair not all counties in the state have the same standards when it comes to verifying mail-in ballots.

They claim some counties allow more time for signature verification and want a judge to step in. 

Arizona's Family reached out to the lawyers representing the Republican Party leaders but did not hear back. 

However, Jonathan Lines, chairman of the Arizona GOP tweeted today, "We want all 15 counties to adhere to the same standards and timeline in fixing possible signature discrepancies on mail-in ballots. Honestly can't understand how anyone would disagree with this. Voters have rights regardless of where they live." 

Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes is listed in the recently filed lawsuit. 

"It's an attempt to keep me from counting certain ballots," he said.

He says that's not going to happen.

"I'm going to keep counting ballots," he assured voters. "I'm going to keep verifying signatures and I'm going to keep making sure that we keep following the law and get every ballot counted."

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, Fontes said there are 5,600 mail-in ballots that need signature clarification. 

Tom Ryan, a Chandler attorney and expert in election law, is critical of the lawsuit and its timing.

"If there was a sincere desire to remedy a problem, it should've been done well before this point," said Ryan. 

He has a theory about why that suit was filed late Wednesday.

"The reason why the GOP is doing this is they're very concerned about how the ballot count is coming out and it is shifting towards Kyrsten Sinema and they want to try to stop it," he explained. "It's a mean-spirited attempt to throw a monkey wrench into the works." 

[RELATED: New numbers give Sinema slight lead over McSally in AZ Senate race]

[AND THIS: Race for schools chief flips, secretary of state closes gap as ballot counting continues]

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

Ryan called the lawsuit a "Hail Mary" attempt and said it will likely not go far for a relatively simple reason.

"Because these are valid votes," Ryan said. "People followed the law. They did what they were allowed to do. There's no basis upon which a valid voter in his or her ballot should be kicked out."

[WAS MY BALLOT COUNTED? Check the status of your mail-in ballot]

The court hearing is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. 

While this is happening the Arizona Democratic Party is looking at legal action of its own.

“As part of our effort to ensure every vote is counted, we went to court today to compel the Maricopa County Recorder to release information that will help the Arizona Democratic Party contact voters whose ballots are in danger of rejection," Marc Elias, counsel for the Party said in a statement Thursday night. "We won this case and expect the county to comply with that order so our work may continue. We have requested the same information from other counties, and if it is not provided by 12 noon tomorrow, we will take the legal action necessary to obtain it.”

Arizona's Family will let you know what happens.

[PDF: Click here to read the complaint]

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

 


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(1) comment

sfr8

Thank god Helen Purcell isn't still MC Recorder. She probably would have shredded the remaining ballots as soon as the lawsuit was announced.

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