WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, former Trump advisor Stephen Miller’s right-wing legal group filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County, Arizona challenging a host of election procedures.
The lawsuit challenges a laundry list of election procedures.
The lawsuit alleges that Maricopa County — the fourth most populous county in the United States — has failed to properly administer elections “for years.” The plaintiffs challenge the county’s signature verification, chain of custody, vote center, voter registration cancellation, ballot cure and drop box policies.
In Maricopa County, early ballots received on Election Day are brought to the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC). They are not counted there but rather the number of ballots is estimated based on the number of ballot trays at the MCTEC. After this, the ballots are brought to another location for signature verification and counting. The complaint revives right-wing gripes with Maricopa County’s chain-of-custody procedures and argues that the county should not be using an estimate system for counting the number of ballots as they come into the MCTEC.
The lawsuit alleges that the county illegally uses software for signature verification and argues that “human beings—and only human beings—may perform signature verification” under Arizona law. In addition, the plaintiffs challenge the county’s cure procedures — the process that allows voters to fix mistakes — arguing that the county’s policy of calling the voter who lists their phone number on the envelope, if a signature is in question, is unlawful.
The complaint also argues that Maricopa County’s vote center locations discriminate against the county’s white voters and advantage Black and Hispanic voters at white voters’ expense. The plaintiffs also continue the right-wing attack on safe and secure ballot drop boxes arguing that Maricopa County’s use of “unstaffed” drop boxes violates Arizona law. They allege that the use of unstaffed drop boxes in the state “creates a significant and unreasonable risk that the boxes may be used to facilitate unlawful ballot harvesting or other fraud.”
Right-wing groups are once again targeting Maricopa County, a Democratic stronghold.
Maricopa County has long been a right wing target, which is not a coincidence as the county is home to the highest number of registered Democrats and is the most populous county in the state. Much of the complaint is devoted to lamenting the perceived failures of the county’s election administration.
“The Defendants’ administration of elections in Maricopa County has been sloppy, shoddy, and rife with mistakes. Their mismanagement has made Maricopa County—and the entire State of Arizona—the laughingstock of the nation. The Defendants’ mistakes and unlawful conduct are so numerous that it is beyond the scope of one single lawsuit to correct. This complaint merely identifies the most egregious of the legions of errors and illegalities and seeks judicial remedy to correct them” the complaint reads.
The lawsuit was filed by prominent Republican lawyers.
The lawsuit was filed by former Trump advisor Stephen Miller’s right-wing legal group, America First Legal Foundation and Jennifer Wright, assistant attorney general for former Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich. America First Legal previously attempted to challenge the use of drop boxes in Pennsylvania ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Wright previously came under fire for her controversial role as the head of the “Election Integrity Unit” under Brnovich and currently represents failed Republican attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh in his ongoing challenge to the results of the 2022 attorney general race.