Judge tosses suit seeking to decertify Joe Biden win in Arizona

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2020, file photo, Maricopa County elections officials count ballots in Phoenix. A federal judge on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, heard arguments over whether to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to decertify election results the election results that gave Democrat President-elect Joe Biden his Arizona victory. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit that sought to decertify Democrat President-elect Joe Biden’s win over Republican President Donald Trump in Arizona, marking another failed attempt to reverse Biden’s victory in the state.

Judge Diane Humetewa said Wednesday that the lawsuit’s allegations “are sorely wanting of relevant or reliable evidence” and that the relief it sought was extraordinary. “If granted, millions of Arizonans who exercised their individual right to vote in the 2020 General Election would be utterly disenfranchised,” Humetewa wrote.

The judge found the proposed Trump electors who filed the lawsuit lacked legal standing to bring the case, waited too long to file their challenge on issues that occurred months and even years ago, and failed to provide proof to back up their fraud claims.

The decision came a day after the Arizona Supreme Court rejected a separate bid by state GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward to undo Biden’s victory.

The challenge dismissed by Humetewa alleged the state’s election systems have security flaws that let election workers and foreign countries manipulate results and that those systems switched votes from Trump to Biden.

Attorneys for the state’s election officials have said the lawsuit uses conspiracy theories to make wild allegations against Dominion Voting Systems, one of Maricopa County’s vendors for voting equipment, without providing proof to back up its claims of widespread Arizona election fraud.

Humetewa said the lawsuit doesn’t contain a plausible allegation that Dominion voting machines were hacked in Arizona during the Nov. 3 election, noting the proposed Trump electors “have not moved the needle for their fraud theory from conceivable to plausible.”

No evidence of voter fraud or election fraud has emerged during this election season in Arizona.

It’s unknown whether the decision will be appealed.

Julia Haller, an attorney who argued in court on behalf of the proposed Trump electors, didn’t return a phone call and email seeking comment on the decision.

The lawsuit dismissed on Wednesday was filed by former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell on behalf of proposed Trump electors in Arizona.

Similar election challenges filed by Powell were dismissed earlier this week in Michigan and Georgia, and a Wisconsin judge is expected to decide a Powell lawsuit as soon as Wednesday.

In all, seven lawsuits challenging the results of the presidential vote in Arizona have been dismissed, including Ward’s lawsuit seeking to overturn Biden’s victory.

In Ward’s challenge, the state Supreme Court said Ward failed to prove misconduct or illegal votes and concluded the margin between the two candidates wasn’t small enough to trigger a recount, even with the small number of votes Trump could have lost due to problems in ballot processing. The state’s highest court cited case law that concludes the validity of an election isn’t voided by honest mistakes.

The state’s election results were certified on Nov. 30, showing Biden won Arizona by more than 10,000 votes. The Electoral College is scheduled to meet on Monday.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.