- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 24, 2020

PHOENIX — Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking an inspection of both mail-in ballot signatures and duplicated ballots in metro Phoenix, alleging election officials didn’t give legal observers enough access to ballot processing.

The lawsuit filed against President-elect Joe Biden’s 11 electors in Arizona also alleged some suburbs on the southeastern edge of Maricopa County had an unusually high number of duplicated ballots - and that the election results in that area were “strongly inconsistent” with voter registration and historical voting data.

Ballots are duplicated when they are damaged or too illegible to run through a tabulator. The lawsuit alleged the software used in processing such electronic ballots was inaccurate and would “prefill” Biden’s name on ballots more often than it did President Donald Trump.

The suit said legal observers weren’t allowed to watch the ballot duplication.

The Biden campaign in Arizona declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Ward’s lawsuit marks the fifth election challenge filed in Maricopa County since Nov. 3. The previous four cases were dismissed, including one filed by the Arizona Republican Party that sought to determine whether voting machines were hacked.

No evidence of fraud or hacking of voting machines has emerged during this election in Arizona.

The state GOP chief also is seeking a limited comparison of signatures on the envelopes from mail-in ballots against signatures on file to see whether ballots were falsely verified.

The suit said election officials wouldn’t let legal observers fully observe the signature verification process and instead made them remain at tables that were 10 to 12 feet (3.6 meters) away from computer monitors.

On Monday, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey acknowledged for the first time that Biden won Arizona.

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