On Friday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Melissa Julian heard a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought forth by two former Arizona GOP candidates who ran in last month's midterms, Mark Finchem and Jeff Zink, against Democrat Governor-elect and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs that alleged illegal voting affected the November election.
According to local news, "The lawsuit claims Hobbs abused her power by failing to have the tabulation machines properly certified and threatening the board of supervisors in Mohave and Cochise counties with criminal charges if they didn’t certify the election."
Finchem is a member of Arizona's House of Representatives and Jeff Zink is a minister, according to Ballotpedia.
During the hearing, Finchem's lawyer Daniel McCauley said, "Mojave County, Cochise County, a number of counties wanted to have a complete recount, which wouldn't have taken long in these counties. And that was immediately resisted, and they were threatened with legal action."
Hobbs threatened Mohave County supervisors with prosecution if they did not certify the midterm election results, in an incident similar to the threats her office made to officials in Cochise County. Like Mohave County, Arizona's Cochise County refused initially to certify the results of the 2022 midterm elections. After the threats, both counties eventually certified their results.
The lawsuit also named Democrat Adrian Fontes, who Finch ran against for the role of secretary of state, and Stare Representative Ruben Gallego, who won the race for Congressional District 3 against Zink.
McCauley said, "the government of Arizona restricted the speech that affected this election" and referenced the "Twitter suspension" that resulted after Hobbs had her office contact Twitter to censor posts related to the Arizona midterm election.
The lawsuit from Finchem and Zink was filed the same day Kari Lake filed a lawsuit making the same allegations against Hobbs and election officials in Maricopa County.
Both suits cited the malfunctions with Maricopa County's tabulator machines and noted that whistleblowers found violations in the chain of custody of ballots from election day. Local KOLD News reports that 60 percent of Maricopa voting machines had problems on election day.
On Tuesday, lawyers representing Hobbs and Fontes filed a motion to have the lawsuit tossed out, according to AZMirror.
During the Friday court hearing, the attorney for Hobbs said the case was a "political side show" and that the judge should send a message that "The judiciary is not the appropriate venue to air political grievances and conspiracy theories."
The judge said she would email her decision to the attorneys by 5pm on Friday.
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