Just moments before he walked into a press briefing Wednesday, Arizona Governor Ducey became a defendant in the latest and now fifth lawsuit taking aim at Arizona's election results.
Information the Trump campaign obtained in its Monday meeting with Arizona legislators at the Hyatt is now the basis of this latest challenge asking the courts to throw out Arizona's election results.
The suit filed in the District Court of Arizona by discredited former Trump Attorney Sidney Powell recycles unverified claims that the election was rigged.
To date, three lawsuits challenging Arizona's election have been dismissed. A fourth is pending.
The vote has been canvassed and approved by Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Republican Governor Doug Ducey.
Powell was fired by the Trump campaign two weeks ago but continues to file these lawsuits. A New York Times report this week links her to QAnon, a web-based conspiracy group that traffics in fantasy theories that include a belief that Democratic leaders are sex traffickers.
When asked for comment Wednesday, Governor Ducey said "Let the legal process play out and if there's something there, let it be discovered."
This latest suit is now the second active challenge in Arizona.
A challenge filed in Maricopa County by the Arizona Republican party alleges potential verification errors among early ballots cast after GOP Chairwoman Dr. Kelli Ward claimed party observers were unable to watch the county's signature verification process "in any meaningful way,” but failed to provide any evidence of any irregularities or misconduct.
Monday, Judge Randall Warner granted Dr. Ward's request to allow attorneys for the state GOP to inspect a sample of 100 early ballot envelopes, as well as 100 duplicate ballots to check for any potential errors. Ballots are duplicated in cases where original early ballots may not be read by tabulation machines. That include ballots that arrive damaged, were printed in braille or large print for voters with special circumstances and must be duplicated in all cases for military and overseas voters who send their votes via a secure portal.
Wednesday, Dr. Ward tweeted the inspection revealed two ballots that were duplicated incorrectly.
In today's update, Chairwoman @kelliwardaz announces the findings from our investigation of 100 duplicate ballots, in which TWO votes were discovered to have been altered and removed from President @realDonaldTrump's total. pic.twitter.com/6Dg9zd2XGd— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) December 2, 2020
A motion later filed in the case read:
"Of the one hundred (100) duplicate ballots that were inspected and compared to their “originals,” a ballot was identified where the original was clearly a vote for Trump, and the duplicate ballot switched the vote to Biden's.
A second ballot was also identified on which the original ballot was clearly a vote only for Trump, but the duplicate ballot had a vote for both Trump and a “blank” write-in candidate, causing the “Trump” vote to be cancelled (due to an “over-vote”)
There were no errors observed in the sample which granted a vote to Trump, or which cancelled out a Biden vote."
Hours later, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors called a closed-door executive session to discuss legal advice.
The county, not named in the lawsuit filed by the GOP, moved to intervene in the case to respond directly to allegations being made of the county's elections process.
Judge Warner called a last-minute hearing to hear from all parties on the GOP's latest motion, asking to expand the scope of their inspection to more than 2,500 ballots.
"Prima facie [first impression] error rate of two percent against Trump alone is obviously of serious concern," wrote attorney John "Jack" Wilenchick, representing Dr. Ward.
"I understand that Ms. Ward is stating in press conferences that votes have been altered, have been amended. There is absolutely no evidence to that effect. As another judge on this court had indicated in a ruling not too long ago, there is not entitlement to irregularity free elections," said attorney Roopali Desai, representing Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. "There are no claims that there is pervasive fraud or some sort of intentional misconduct."
President Trump later getting wind of the suit, tweeted Wednesday evening:
In Arizona, it turns out that 3% of the votes cast in the 100 count vote sampling were tainted or worse. This would be, if carried forward, approximately 90,000 votes more than we would need to win the State. Now we were granted a much larger sample to work with. Wow!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2020
According to the Arizona GOP, their initial finding discovered only 2% of duplicated ballots where the presidential contest did not match the vote on the original ballot.
According to Maricopa County, a total of 27,859 ballots were duplicated for the 2020 election. Two percent of that number would only amount to about 560 votes, far less than what would be needed for the results of Arizona's vote to change.