Arizona GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward files lawsuit seeking ballot inspections

A new legal challenge has been filed by the head of Arizona's Republican Party to seek an inspection of ballot signatures just a week before the state is expected to certify the results of the 2020 election.

"We have to do something. This is the something," said Kelli Ward, the Chair of the Arizona Republican Party. "We expect to file a lawsuit on November 30, because that's the day the lawsuit has to be filed by statute."

The lawsuit filed against President-elect Joe Biden’s 11 electors in Arizona also alleged some suburbs on the southeastern edge of Maricopa County had an unusually high number of duplicated ballots — and that the election results in that area were “strongly inconsistent” with voter registration and historical voting data.

Ballots are duplicated when they are damaged or too illegible to run through a tabulator. The lawsuit alleged the software used in processing such electronic ballots was inaccurate and would “prefill” Biden’s name on ballots more often than it did President Donald Trump.

The suit said election officials wouldn’t let legal observers fully observe the signature verification process and instead made them remain at tables that were 10 to 12 feet (3.6 meters) away from computer monitors.

"And they all, or many, came in favor of Biden. That is suspicious because it's one of the most conservative places -- Trump-friendly places in entire state, especially in Maricopa County," said Ward.

Arizona GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward's lawsuit marks the fifth election challenge filed in Maricopa County since Election Day. The previous four cases were dismissed, including one filed by the Arizona Republican Party that sought to determine whether voting machines were hacked.

The state GOP chief also is seeking a limited comparison of signatures on the envelopes from mail-in ballots against signatures on file to see whether ballots were falsely verified.

The Biden campaign in Arizona declined to comment on the lawsuit.

No evidence of fraud or hacking of voting machines has emerged during this election in Arizona, and all 15 counties within the state have certified election results.

"The voters have spoken, and at each level of government, from our counties up to our state, now they've taken the steps to ensure that those votes are counted fairly," said State Se, Martin Quezada. "I don't expect that anything's going to change. This isn't going to slow down the results tomorrow. This isn't gonna slow down the canvass."

On Monday, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey acknowledged for the first time that Biden won Arizona.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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