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Arizona Update: Republicans Sued to Stop Counting Ballots

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Voter ID struggles from this year’s election have culminated in Arizona, where 324,362 ballots remain uncounted.  Between the seriously questionable pre-election materials that were distributed, local officials’ delayed response in counting all the ballots, and the fact that the ballots could make a difference in who wins key races in Arizona—the voting crisis is quickly becoming a national story, with calls to #CountEveryVote.

Updates this morning from Talking Points Memo, about how Republicans in one Arizona county are suing to stop counting ballots:

One of the few unresolved congressional races in the nation could come down to whether voters in a heavily Latino precinct in Arizona get their ballots counted this week.

Backed by two high-powered lawyers, a supporter of Republican congressional candidate Martha McSally filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to get election authorities to halt counting of provisional ballots from a heavily Latino area of the state’s Cochise County.

The suit could be pivotal as McSally is trying to unseat Rep. Ron Barber (D) in southern Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District. At last count, McSally was trailing Barber by just 512 votes, but the lead had changed hands multiple times since election night.

Jim Nintzel of the Tucson Weekly reported that Barber campaign manager Jessica Floyd called the lawsuit an “active attempt by Martha McSally’s attorneys to disenfranchise voters in Cochise County.”

Eric H. Spencer and Michael Liburdi of the Snell and Wilmer law firm filed the suit in Cochise County Court on behalf of McSally supporter William J. Odle. They argued that 130 provisional ballots shouldn’t be counted because they “were not sealed, as required, when they were transported from the Castro Park, Ramsey and Hopi Precinct polling locations to the Cochise County Elections Department and Recorder’s Office.” The lawyers said 96 of the provisional ballots came from Castro Park, a heavily Latino precinct that leans Democratic.

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Daniel Scarpinato told the Tucson Weekly that NRCC officials believe “every voter has the right to an election that is free of fraud and ballot tampering.”

Right.  The NRCC believes that every voter has a right to a fair and free election.  That’s why one of their candidates is suing to stop counting ballots from a heavily Latino neighborhood, when the race is currently divided by just 512 votes.

In other news, both Republicans and Democrats have agreed to count provisional ballots that were cast, but Republicans have asked that those ballots be segregated in case they want to file a future suit questioning their legality.