Maricopa County Judge Rejects Sharpie Complaint, Other GOP Election Case Moves Forward

Published: Monday, November 9, 2020 - 8:25pm
Updated: Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 7:52am

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge rejected an effort to revive a lawsuit alleging voters who used Sharpies to fill out ballots had their votes invalidated, but allowed a separate complaint by the Trump campaign to continue.

The case for President Donald Trump, which was also filed on behalf of the state and national Republican parties, alleges that in some circumstances, voters “overvoted” — that is, they selected more than one candidate for a particular race.

The case hinges on claims that some of those voters were never given a proper opportunity to correct their error and have their vote counted.

Attorney Alexander Kolodin, who filed the initial lawsuit related to Sharpies, filed a motion to intervene in the overvote case.

Kolodin said it was the only chance to protect his clients rights, an argument Judge Daniel Kiley swiftly rejected. After all, it was Kolodin who withdrew the original Sharpie lawsuit on Saturday, even after another judge scheduled a hearing for the case this week.

Had Kolodin wanted to pursue the Sharpie case for his clients, he shouldn’t have withdrawn it, Kiley said.

Claims that Sharpies led to rejected ballots have been thoroughly debunked by state and local election officials.

As for the overvote case, attorneys for Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and for Maricopa County officials said the complaint includes few facts to support a theory that thousands of votes in various races may be at stake.

When it comes to the presidential race, Trump campaign attorney Kory Langhofer acknowledged it’s unlikely the outcome of the election in Arizona would change even if their case has merit.

Of the more than 165,000 votes in Maricopa County cast in-person for a presidential candidate on Election Day, only 180 cases of overvotes were found, according to county election officials.

However, Langhofer said there are other GOP candidates in races further down the ballot that may be impacted by rejected overvotes.

Attorneys for Maricopa County election officials dispute claims that voters were misled about options to correct those overvotes.

Judge Kiley scheduled a hearing for evidence and oral arguments to be presented in the case on Thursday morning.

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