Arizona Republicans and President Trump’s campaign hope to get a boost in their lawsuit over election administration from a video recording taken at a polling place.
The video, though, might not make it into the courtroom as evidence because it is illegal to record video or take photos in an Arizona polling location.
Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party of Arizona filed suit in Arizona on Saturday, alleging that poll workers “frequently deviated” from proper protocol “by pressing, or inducing voters to press, the so-called ‘green button’ on tabulation devices when confronted with alerts signaling apparent defects or irregularities.” That action, the lawsuit says, would invalidate the ballot rather than count it.
Poll workers allegedly claimed instead that the green button would correct the problem. The goal for Arizona Republicans is to count more ballots because in-person ballots tend to favor Trump. The lawsuit could allow more ballots to be tallied.
Lawyers for the Trump campaign filed a motion on Tuesday to allow a video of a poll worker making that action, which would back up the claims made by voters who came forward complaining about the problem.
Attorney Kory Langhofer, who represents the Trump campaign, said that while he “wouldn’t have signed off on” a voter taking that video, “now that it exists and it shows the poll worker pressing the green button, that’s relevant evidence,” he told the judge Tuesday, according to Capitol Media Services. “And I don’t see why it’s not admissible.”
Langhofer, to preserve voter privacy, says the video can be sealed and made inaccessible to the public.
“I’m uncomfortable with the idea of having a video that shows people’s faces, voted ballots, or visible who they voted for,” Langhofer said. “So it seems to me like sealing it is appropriate.”
Attorneys for Maricopa County opposed the motion.
“It appears the videographers violated Arizona law: it is a class 2 misdemeanor to take photographs or videos within the seventy-five foot limit around polling locations while voters are present,” they said in response. “Accordingly, these videos cannot be sealed, because they may be needed by the Attorney General or County Attorney should they choose to prosecute this unlawful behavior.”
“It would [be] counterintuitive to have individuals invade the privacy of voters and violate their right to vote in secret and then use the fruit of that potentially illegal activity to advance a civil case,” lawyers for the county continued. “Moreover, it would be borderline obscene to allow them to do it, then present it to a court in secret.”
A hearing for the case will take place on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. local Arizona time, or 11:30 a.m. EST.
The lawsuit, if successful, may help Trump inch closer to overtaking Joe Biden in the state. Trump trails Biden by about 13,000 votes in Arizona, and as more in-person votes are counted, they tend to favor the president. Unlike in contested states where Trump’s legal team focuses on contesting illegally cast ballots, the Arizona suit aims to qualify more ballots.
Tangentially related to the lawsuit is a debunked conspiracy theory that in-person voters were instructed to use Sharpie markers as a way to suppress votes for Trump intentionally. While the lawsuit doesn’t mention Sharpies, many of the witness affidavits filed with the lawsuit allege problems with using Sharpies on ballots.
Author: Emily Larsen
Source: Washington Examiner: Arizona resists allowing GOP video that could prove more in-person votes should be counted