By Corinne Murdock |
The former secretary of state of Ohio has come to the defense of embattled GOP candidate Abe Hamadeh, claiming that not all legal ballots were counted in the 2022 election.
Hamadeh shared the remarks from the former Ohio official: Ken Blackwell, who currently serves as Center For Election Integrity chair for the America First Policy Institute (AFPI). Blackwell disputed Maricopa County’s claim in their recent report that all legal ballots were counted. Blackwell further called out Gov. Katie Hobbs for her work as secretary of state, claiming that she purposefully overlooked significant discrepancies revealed by the recount.
“There is testimonial evidence of people who did not have their votes counted,” stated Blackwell. “And in a legal case brought by Arizona Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh, evidence shows that then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs knew the recount showed discrepancies and failed to disclose those relevant facts to the court in a timely manner before the court made its ruling. This failure to do so is either gross incompetence or a cover-up.”
Blackwell also criticized Maricopa County for not troubleshooting their printers well enough prior to Election Day.
“Common sense and basic competence would dictate election officials assess the capability of the printers BEFORE Election Day. They didn’t,” said Blackwell.
The Maricopa County report characterized the problematic printers as “old printers.” However, age wasn’t the issue, but the original intended functionality of those printers. By the county’s own admission, a certain model of printers were retrofitted to be ballot-on-demand (BOD) printers. These retrofitted printers, the “Oki” model, had a heat setting that printed the ballot markings either too lightly or in a speckled manner.
The outsourced county report recommended replacement of the Oki printers, as well as reverting to shorter and lighter-weigh ballot paper.
Maricopa County launched the investigation into the printer errors in January. Poll workers testified in November, following the Election Day fiasco, that election machines were having issues prior to Election Day. These testimonies conflicted with the county’s reporting that their stress testing prior to Election Day didn’t reveal either tabulator or printer issues.
In several weeks, Hamadeh will present oral arguments in the Mohave County Superior Court to challenge the validity of the 2022 election results. Hamadeh has challenged the exclusion of thousands of provisional votes from the final tally, hundreds of which he has said he can definitively say should have been counted. Last month, Hamadeh stated that he had over 250 affidavits from allegedly disenfranchised voters.
He also claimed his team found 750 high-propensity voters whose registrations were canceled. Of those 750, only 176 reportedly showed up to vote last November.
There were also a majority of 269 voters who told Hamadeh that they checked in on Election Day with mail-in ballots, but their votes weren’t counted. 149 were Republicans, 53 were Democrats, and 67 were “other” voters.
Those claims, combined with an analysis of the uncounted provisional ballots, make a compelling case that Hamadeh overcame the 280 vote gap between him and Mayes. It’s possible more legal votes exist, considering the original vote gap between Hamadeh and Mayes was nearly halved following December’s recount.
Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.