Tuesday, November 25, 2014

UPDATE, MCSALLY/BARBER COUNT: Secretary of State Has "Zero Authority" To Delay Certification Without Court Order, McSally Moves To Dismiss Barber Case

UPDATE, 10:15am: The Court has set a Wednesday 11am hearing on the Barber application for a Temporary Restraining Order and related issues. (below)

In overnight developments in the Rep. Ron Barber/Martha McSally election contest, the Arizona Secretary of State's Office says it will not hold off on certifying the current totals - McSally ahead by 161 votes - without a Court order, and McSally's campaign moves to disimiss the suit filed in federal court yesterday by the Barber campaign (and three of the at least 133 voters who may have received bad instructions from election workers).

Arizona's Politics asked the Secretary of State's Office for a response to the letter sent it by Barber's campaign on Friday and the lawsuit filed yesterday.  Last night, Matt Roberts - Director of Communications - emailed back and said that their office has "zero authority to delay our canvass. The Court would have to order us hold off."

This morning, the McSally legal team attached a formal response from Secretary of State Ken Bennett (see below), that it was still investigating the attachments provided by Barber's attorneys but that it could only delay the statutorily-mandated December 1 certification if one or more counties had not approved their canvasses. Pima and Cochise Counties approved them last week over the Barber campaign's protests.

McSally's legal team filed a memorandum opposing the Barber request for a temporary restraining order:

The McSally team also filed a motion to dismiss the entire complaint filed yesterday by Barber's team.  Among other reasons, the motion asserts that the complaint is really an election contest in disguise and is filed prematurely.

(Assistance on this article from Tempe attorney Paul Weich.)

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