Trump, GOP sue in Arizona over ballot handling

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President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House, early Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(AP) – The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee filed a lawsuit Saturday in Arizona that seeks the manual inspection of potentially thousands of in-person Election Day ballots in metro Phoenix that they allege were mishandled by poll workers and resulted in some ballot selections to be disregarded.

The legal challenge against Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs centers on instances in which people are believed to have voted for more candidates than permitted.

When tabulators detect such an “overvote,” poll workers should give voters a choice to fix the problem, but the workers instead either pressed or told voters to press a button on the machine to override the error, leaving the devices to disregard the problematic ballot selections, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed hours after the dismissal of another Arizona election lawsuit that contested the use of Sharpie markers in completing Election Day ballots in Maricopa County. Even though election officials have said voting with a Sharpie would not invalidate a ballot, many social media users in the controversy known as #Sharpiegate have falsely claimed their ballots had been invalidated because they were told to use the markers.

Hobbs spokeswoman Sophia Solis said the secretary of state’s office is still reviewing the lawsuit, but added that the latest lawsuit “is seemingly a repackaged ‘Sharpiegate’ lawsuit.”

While the Trump campaign’s lawsuit doesn’t mention Sharpies, it focuses on how ink splotches on a ballot are handled by electronic tabulators and raises the possibility of overvotes.


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