Arizona county SUED over 63,000 incorrect ballots mailed to voters ahead of the August primary

by Laura Ramirez

Photo: Adobe Stock

Republican congressional candidate for Arizona’s 6th Congressional District, Kathleen Winn, filed a lawsuit Monday after an estimated 63,000 incorrect ballots were mailed out in Pinal County.

Talking with RSBN’s Liz Willis at gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s rally on Tuesday, Winn shared details about the suit, claiming 63,000 ballots in Pinal County were mailed out without local municipal races printed on them.

“Yesterday, we filed suit against Pinal County because 63,000 ballots are incorrect,” Winn said. “If you remember the last election between Biden and Trump, it was only 10,000 votes that separate those. We have five candidates running in this race.”

“The state and federal races were okay,” she said, adding that the local races were not.

Winn added that Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s secretary of state, wanted to send out supplemental ballots to fix the issue.

Winn insisted that Hobb’s proposal would create “confusion” for voters, which led her to file a lawsuit against the county.

According to AZ Central, Winn’s suit argues that Pinal County’s election staff does not have the authority to send out supplemental ballots.

Reportedly, the suit cites a 2020 case where former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes put instructions on voter pamphlets notifying voters how to correct mistakes on their ballots and instructing voters to cross out errors on the ballots for the November election.

The outlet stated that the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that Fontes lacked the authority to create new voter instructions and was ordered to remove them from the ballots. Winn is pleading with the court to prevent county officials from sending supplemental ballots and new voter instructions ahead of the state’s August primary election.

“The county recorder’s and other election officials’ authority is limited to those powers expressly or impliedly delegated to him or her by the state constitution or statutes,” the lawsuit allegedly states. “There is no statutory authority for a county to send anything other than a single ‘official ballot.'”

A day after the lawsuit was filed, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors held a meeting to address the ballot scandal where Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer advocated for two simultaneous elections, according to AZ Family.

The unanimously approved plan will have voters who received a flawed ballot fill out a second ballot containing the municipal races, the outlet stated. Volkmer maintained that the incorrect ballots sent are still suitable for federal, state, and county elections.

“At this point, while it is not a perfect solution, we believe this to be the best solution,” Volkmer said. “That solution is to send out to all permanent early voters who requested an early ballot to be mailed a new ballot exclusively containing municipal races in the seven affected jurisdictions.”

Nonetheless, the ballot scandal has thrown voters into a frenzy, with many doubting the integrity of the state’s elections.

“I’m afraid. This is just crazy,” a voter named Rhonda Barber, daughter of an incorrect ballot recipient, told ABC15. “I have no answers. That’s why I’m down here, to find out what’s going on.”

The outlet mentioned that voters ineligible to vote in municipal elections received ballots with those races, giving voters more cause for concern.

“With everything going on, we have to be concerned,” voter Diane Kouchee told ABC15. “We have to be aware.”

“This is an absolute disaster which is not a Republican or Democrat issue, this hurts everyone,” Pinal County resident and candidate for Arizona attorney general Tiffany Shedd told AZ Free News. “It is a huge problem to receive a ballot for an election that we are not qualified to vote in, and to be denied the opportunity to vote in your own city’s elections Is it any wonder people are questioning whether our elections are free and fair?”

The AZ Central also reports that Judge Christopher O’Neil has set a hearing to hear Winn’s complaint for Friday morning at the Pinal County Superior Courthouse in Florence.

“The public deserves a thoughtful, legal solution,” the suit further states. “The supplemental ballot plan, rushed out hastily and in somewhat of a panic, is neither.”

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