Arizona Court Dismisses GOP Lawsuit Asking to “Annul” Election Results

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, Dec. 2, an Arizona judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Josh Barnett (a GOP congressional candidate who lost the Republican primary for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District by a significant margin) against Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors requesting that the 2022 midterm election results in Arizona be “annulled.” In his lawsuit, Barnett alleged that the midterm elections “in Maricopa County w[ere] rendered incurably uncertain due to official misconduct, and it must be annulled.” In the complaint, he argued that the election board checked voters in at polling places “to engage their sacred votes with very sick voting machines by printing a ballot, while knowing there was an abnormal likelihood that the ballot would not be tabulated” and that this situation “trapped voters into a desperate situation where they were prevented from voting on accurate voting machines, and were forced to vote by methods unfamiliar to them, including placing their ballot in the misread ballot box for duplication followed by adjudication.” Barnett contended that, because “of the misconduct of these officers in creating the conditions by which the chaos ensued, the canvas[s] has been made bad” and the entire election results for the state should be annulled. After holding a hearing on Friday, a judge dismissed the lawsuit, holding that Barnett filed his challenge prematurely. 

In the order, the judge “concludes that [Barnett’s] argument missed the mark.” The court found that, while Barnett argued that he was not bringing an election contest, Barnett stated during Friday’s hearing that the “heart of his [c]omplaint” was that the “the General Election had been illegally run and everything was broken.” Thus, the court concluded that Barnett’s complaint was premature as the statewide certification is not complete. However, the case was dismissed without prejudice, which means that Barnett can still file an election contest when it is timely to do so. 

Read the order here.

Learn more about the case here.