Court Rejects Fourth Attempt from Arizona Election Denier to Overturn 2022 Race

A judge in Arizona’s Maricopa County rejected erstwhile state attorney general candidate Abe Hamedeh’s fourth attempt to overturn the results of the 2022 midterm election.

In a ruling issued Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Scott Blaney dismissed Hamadeh’s challenge to the 2022 attorney general election, in which he lost to Arizona Attorney General Kris Hayes (D) by 280 votes, because it was an “untimely election contest.” It’s Hamadeh’s fourth rejected legal attempt to overturn that election and have a do-over, and his ninth loss in court, including several appeal attempts. Hamadeh is currently running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, to represent Arizona’s 8th Congressional District. 

In November of 2022, Hamadeh filed his first attempt to overturn the election, as votes were still being counted, to request “judicial intervention” to ensure that the candidate who “received the highest number of lawful votes is declared the next Arizona Attorney General.” In the same lawsuit, Hamadeh alleged “systematic” errors in the vote counting and requested an order from the Maricopa Superior Court to declare that he won the election despite, at the time, trailing by 510 votes. 

The lawsuit was quickly dismissed a few weeks later, with the judge finding it “premature under the election contest statute” to contest an election as the votes were still being counted. In December of 2022, Hamadeh filed a nearly identical complaint to get the election overturned, falsely claiming that illegal votes were cast, which led to his election loss. That lawsuit was also dismissed in trial court, and Hamadeh’s multiple attempts to appeal were denied by the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Arizona Supreme Court

In this latest failed lawsuit, which Hamadeh filed in November of 2023, his lawyers argued that a new investigation by former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor claimed to have found evidence that election officials in Maricopa County had significant issues printing ballots on Election Day. Those issues allegedly caused long lines at the polls, which dissuaded Republican voters from staying in line to vote. The lawsuit once again asked the court to decertify the results of the 2022 election and hold a new one. In August of 2023, Hamadeh, along with fellow election denying failed candidates Kari Lake and Mark Finchem, were sanctioned by the Arizona Supreme Court for misrepresenting facts in court.

But Blaney dismissed the lawsuit because of the time elapsed since the election. “The jurisdictional time limit for bringing an election contest in county elections is within five days after completion of the canvass of the election and declaration of the Result,” he wrote in his ruling. 

Read the judge’s order here.

Learn more about the case here.