A judge will decide Friday whether to allow hundreds of contested ballots to count in the hotly contested Republican primary in a Phoenix-area congressional district. Unofficial results from the Aug. 30 primary for the 5th Congressional District had state Senate President Andy Biggs leading former internet executive Christine Jones by nine votes out of some 85,500 votes cast in the four-way race. Jones’ campaign contends Maricopa County should have counted votes from at least 300 eligible voters who cast ballots that weren’t counted for various reasons. A lawyer for Biggs argued that Jones was creating chaos and disruption in an attempt to win the election.
County Superior Court Judge Joshua Rogers held a hearing Thursday for both sides to state their case and hear from various witnesses including testimony from a handwriting expert. Some on the contested ballots reportedly were rejected because voters’ signatures didn’t match.
Rogers’ ruling was expected Friday morning ahead of the state certification of the results during the official canvass of the primary election results and next week’s expected recount of the 5th Congressional race.
The GOP nominee in the heavily Republican district in southeastern Phoenix suburbs will almost certainly replace Republican Rep. Matt Salmon, who is retiring.