Failed GOP Congressional Candidate Sues to “Annul” Arizona Election Results

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, Nov. 29, Josh Barnett, who lost the August Republican primary for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District by a significant margin, filed a lawsuit against Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors requesting that the 2022 midterm election results be “annulled.” Barnett alleges that the “General Election in Maricopa County was rendered incurably uncertain due to official misconduct, and it must be annulled.” In the complaint, he argues that the election board checked voters in at the polling place “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 contends that, because “of the misconduct of these officers in creating the conditions by which the chaos ensued, the canvas[s] has been made bad.”

Additionally, Barnett states that he “seeks to avail himself of Declaratory relief before the legal, political, and psychological burdens which stack up after the election is canvassed by the Secretary of State, and winners are Declared.” Barnett requests a judgment stating that the election “concluding on November 8, 2022 has been rendered incurably uncertain due to the misconduct of Election Boards and officers making and participating in the canvas[s] thereof” and argues that the races for “Governor; Secretary of State; Attorney General; and United States Senator have been rendered incurably uncertain under Arizona statutes and precedents.” He also requests that Hobbs be prevented from certifying the statewide election results for these races and that these races be annulled. Barnett claims that if “the election is annulled, it’s legally void. The law no longer recognizes that there was an election, and therefore all legal uncertainty is terminated as well. It’s like the difference between a divorce and an annulment; a divorce ends the marriage, whereas an annulment means you were never married.” 

In Barnett’s motion for a temporary restraining order, he argues that if he does not succeed, “the descent into administrative tyranny will surely destroy the Republic for Plaintiff, his posterity, and the community he loves.” Furthermore, he asserts that “the hardships involved with delaying any canvass or certification, or delaying the subsequent declaration of winners, are nothing compared to the hardships of allowing chaos to determine who governs.” This lawsuit is part of a larger pattern of Republican-led efforts to instill doubt in the electoral process by seeking to overturn valid election results.

Read the complaint here.

Learn more about the case here.