Judge tosses out lawsuit filed by Mark Finchem challenging election results
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A Maricopa County Superior Court judge tossed a lawsuit on Friday filed by former GOP candidates Mark Finchem and Jeff Zink that challenges the results of November’s general election. Judge Melissa Iyer Julian dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, which means it cannot be filed again. The judge also confirmed Adrian Fontes won the election and is the secretary of state-elect for Arizona.
Finchem, who ran for secretary of state, and Zink, a former candidate in Congressional District 3, filed a lawsuit on Dec. 9 to overturn the results of the election. The lawsuit claimed that current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs abused her power by failing to have tabulation machines properly certified and for threatening the boards of supervisors in Mohave and Cochise counties with criminal charges if they didn’t certify the election.
The lawsuit also alleged Hobbs should have recused herself from her position as secretary of state since she was running for governor. The lawsuit asked for an inspection of some mail-in ballots to compare signatures and compare “duplicate” ballots, especially for ballots in Congressional District 3. Zink was later taken off the lawsuit.
On Tuesday morning, during a court hearing to show cause, the Secretary of State’s Office said they would be filing a motion to dismiss the suit, calling the claims “baseless” and “sanctionable.” That’s when the judge scheduled Friday morning’s hearing. With the dismissal, Hobbs and Fontes have 10 days to file a motion for sanctions, which could mean they could force Finchem and Zink to pay the lawyer fees.
A separate lawsuit was also filed by former GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake on Dec. 9 against her opponent Katie Hobbs, current secretary of state and governor-elect. The 70-page lawsuit says evidence was gathered from witnesses showing “hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots infected the election in Maricopa County.” A motion to dismiss that lawsuit was also filed, set to be heard by a judge on Monday morning.
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