WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Maricopa County Superior Court ruled on Monday that the Arizona GOP must pay attorneys’ fees incurred during their 2020 election audit challenge to the Arizona secretary of state. The court had previously dismissed the GOP’s case, which requested a redundant second hand count of batches of the state’s ballots after the initial hand count showed no evidence of fraud or irregularities.
Not only was the case dismissed, but the court had strong words about the party’s complete lack of standing and its clear political motivations. After initially falsely alleging that only a hand count of ballots would secure a “fair election,” a justification rejected by the court, the AZ GOP changed its position to claim that a second hand count was needed to calm increasing public mistrust in the election results. The court similarly rejected this claim, and the AZ GOP brought no evidence on its behalf.
The court summarized today’s ruling as follows: “The plaintiff is effectively admitting that the suit was brought primarily for an improper purpose. It is conceding that the method of sampling ballots for the hand count audit is a minor procedural requirement, not a necessary step toward a fair election. It is saying that it filed this lawsuit for political reasons. ‘Public mistrust’ is a political issue, not a legal or factual basis for litigation.”
The Arizona GOP was ordered to pay the Arizona secretary of state back for attorneys’ fees costing over $18,000.