Kari Lake, Mark Finchem want to bar Arizona’s vote tabulating machines

FILE - Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake attends a rally in Florence, Ariz., on Jan. 15, 2022. Ross D. Franklin / AP

Two Republican candidates for top statewide offices in Arizona have asked a court to bar the use of machines in tabulating ballots in the November midterm elections and instead have them counted by hand.

The lawsuit filed Friday by gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem against Democratic Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs alleged that the vote-counting machines used in Arizona aren’t reliable.

The civil complaint repeats unfounded allegations about the security of such machines in the state, such as that the counting machines “can be manipulated through internal or external intrusion to alter votes and vote tallies.”

The lawsuit refers to claims that also were made in the report by contractors hired by the Arizona Senate to review Maricopa County’s 2020 election results and procedures. They have been repeatedly debunked by election experts and by outside audits requested by the county and by a special master jointly hired by the Senate and county to determine if the vote-counting machines or other election equipment was connected to the internet.

The lawsuit also was filed against officials in Pima and Maricopa counties.

“I have yet to see the lawsuit, but I expect the court will quickly dismiss this attention-seeking behavior by two candidates for state office,” said Pima County Administrator Jan Lesher.

A spokesman for Maricopa County declined to comment on the lawsuit, and Hobbs’ office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Lawyers for Lake and Finchem said in court papers that hand counts are the most efficient method for totaling election results and said the lawsuit isn’t about undoing the 2020 presidential election results in Arizona but rather about the upcoming election.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.