Judge Tosses Republican Lawsuit Challenging Electronic Voting Machines in Arizona

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, Aug. 26, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by Arizona gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake (R) and Arizona secretary of state nominee Mark Finchem (R) that challenged the use of electronic voting machines in Arizona and sought to ban them in the upcoming November midterm elections. In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that Arizona’s use of electronic voting machines violated their right to vote under the U.S. Constitution because the machines are “inherently vulnerable” to cyberattacks and voter fraud and could not be relied on to yield objective and accurate vote tallies. The plaintiffs’ arguments were predicated on meritless claims of rampant fraud throughout the 2020 election and centered on the use of Dominion voting machines, a major focal point of “Big Lie” proponents following the 2020 election. The plaintiffs argued that, because electronic voting machines “created unjustified new risks of hacking, election tampering, and electronic voting fraud,” every vote should instead be counted by hand, which would take approximately 93 days according to Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer

In Friday’s order, Judge John J. Tuchi tossed the lawsuit in full, ruling that the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the lawsuit and that their claims are “vague,” “speculative” and ultimately amount to “conjectural allegations.” Additionally, the judge declared that the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ suit is further warranted under the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which restricts individuals from bringing lawsuits against states in federal court. The judge stated that, in this case, the “plaintiffs do not plausibly allege a violation of federal law…[and their] complaint asks the federal court to oversee the administrative details of a local election. We find no constitutional basis for doing so.” Finally, the judge referenced the Purcell principle and explained that, even if the court had jurisdiction over the plaintiffs’ suit, given the imminence of the November midterm elections the plaintiffs’ “request [for] a complete overhaul of Arizona’s election procedures” is implausible. In his order, the judge wholly discredited the plaintiffs’ fallacious claims against electronic voting machines, citing numerous audits — which were undertaken following the 2020 election to assess Maricopa County’s tabulation equipment — that proved no evidence of fraud or compromised election security due to the use of the machines. 

Read the order here.

Learn more about the case here.