Judge dismisses Trump lawsuit over Arizona ballots


PHOENIX — A judge has dismissed the Trump campaign’s lawsuit seeking the manual inspection of ballots in metro Phoenix after the campaign’s lawyers acknowledged that the small number of ballots at issue wouldn’t change the outcome of how Arizona voted for president.

The campaign had sought a postponement of Maricopa County’s certification of election results until ballots containing overvotes – instances in which people voted for more candidates than permitted – were inspected.

Only 191 overvotes were cast in the presidential race in Maricopa County. Democrat Joe Biden has an advantage of nearly 11,000 votes over Trump in Arizona, with 6,600 ballots left to count across the state.

The campaign’s lawsuit alleged tabulators rejected some ballots due to ink splotches and that poll workers either pressed a button on the device to override the error, resulting in some ballot selections being disregarded.

Election officials said Trump’s claims were baseless and intended to undermine confidence in the election results.

With the dismissal of Trump’s lawsuit, Arizona has one remaining legal challenge over the Nov. 3 election results.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, the Arizona Republican Party is seeking a court order to change how Maricopa County conducts a hand-count audit of a sampling of ballots as a quality control measure.

The party wants the sample measured on a precinct level, rather than among the county’s new vote centers, which let people vote at any location across the county. County officials have declined to comment on the lawsuit and hadn’t yet responded in court to the lawsuit.

It’s unclear whether the party is seeking a new audit or a re-tabulation of the audit that the county completed on Nov. 9.

A hearing is scheduled Monday in the case.

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