The Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to halt a recount in southern Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District race between Democratic incumbent Ron Barber and Republican challenger Martha McSally. The high court dismissed a special-action lawsuit filed by a group of voters challenging the state’s plan to use the same computer program it used in the regular ballot count. The justices said in a brief order that the voters could continue to try to challenge the recount rules in Superior Court. “I’m really disappointed,” said Tucson attorney Bill Risner, who filed suit on behalf of seven voters in Cochise and Pima counties and isn’t affiliated with either campaign. “Our courts in general, there’s a real hostility to democracy and getting involved in election stuff. This is a simple case, it’s highly important and they’re making a real mistake in terms of their job of not taking this case.” Risner said he was considering whether to start the case over in the lower court.
Risner sued because Secretary of State Ken Bennett plans to use the same computer program involved in the initial electronic ballot count. State law requires a different program for recounts, but Bennett plans to simply rewrite some code instead.
The recount was triggered automatically because the margin between the two candidates was less than 200 votes after Monday’s official election canvass. The counties are now gearing up to recount nearly 220,000 ballots from the district and expect to finish within two weeks.
Barber has failed in his efforts to get rejected provisional and early ballots counted in the race, where he trails by 161 votes. A federal judge on Thanksgiving Day rejected his request to order 133 rejected provisional ballots counted.
Full Article: Arizona high court won’t halt 2nd District recount.