Arizona GOP Chair Files Last-ditch Lawsuit to Void Joe Biden's Win in State

Another election legal challenge in Arizona is looming after the state's Republican Party chair Kelli Ward filed papers challenging the result that gave the Grand Canyon State's 11 electoral votes to President-elect Joe Biden.

It is the latest legal move by GOP figures backing President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claims of election fraud though, like almost all of the others, it has little promise of success.

Ward's lawsuit alleges that in parts of Maricopa County there were not enough safeguards verifying that checked signatures on mail-in ballots came from registered voters.

The filing against the state's 11 electors says that observers did not get a proper view of the voting process and that the way damaged ballots were dealt with meant they were not accurately recorded.

Ward wants a court order for a sample of the signatures on the ballot envelopes to be examined to compare them with signatures on file. She also wants damaged ballots to be compared with the duplicates created by election workers.

The lawsuit calls for the court to "declare that the certificate of election of the Biden electors is of no further legal force or effect, and that the election is annulled and set aside."

It also asks that "if an inspection of the ballots should so prove, the court declare that the Trump electors have the highest number of legal votes and declare those persons elected."

Last Friday, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously certified the results. In the unlikely event that Ward overturns the results, the 11 electoral college votes would not be enough to reverse Biden's overall election victory.

Ward's lawsuit is the fifth election challenge filed in Maricopa County since Election Day. Four cases had been dismissed, including one filed by the Arizona GOP into whether voting machines had been hacked.

The legal challenge is the latest sign of the reluctance of some Republican figures to alienate Trump's base. The president still holds considerable influence over the GOP, especially ahead of crucial run-off elections for Georgia's Senate seats in January.

Ward has been criticized in local media over her post-election claims, such as the Arizona Mirror which debunked as false her allegations that Maricopa County hid precinct election data. Newsweek has contacted Ward for comment.

Arizona Republican Party Kelli Ward
Chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party Kelli Ward is pictured with President Donald Trump at the airport in Yuma, Arizona on August 18, 2020.Ward has alleged there were irregularities during election vote counting. Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Maricopa County was the focal point of a historic shift in the state, with President-elect Joe Biden becoming the first Democrat to win there since Harry Truman in 1948.

It was a key point in Biden's flipping the historically red state from Trump who won there by 3.5 percentage points in 2016.

The Trump campaign criticized Fox News for joining the Associated Press in calling the state for Biden. Other outlets did not project a Biden win until November 12, and as of Tuesday, he was ahead of Trump by more than 10,000 votes.

On Tuesday, Arizona's Republican Governor Doug Ducey acknowledged Biden had won the state, telling The Mike Broomhead Show on KTAR News: "I trust our election system, there is integrity in our election system. Joe Biden did win Arizona."

Under Arizona law, a contest can be filed within five days after the state's results are certified. Under federal law, all challenges and recounts have to be resolved no later than December 8.

The graphic below provided by Statista shows the campaign budgets for this century's elections.

2020 election spending record