Friday, November 9, 2018

Settlement Agreement - Parties Disagree On Impact Of Settlement Of GOP's Suit Re: Curing Mis-Matched Ballot Envelope Signatures

To the surprise of many - including some of the parties in the GOP's lawsuit - a settlement agreement was announced at Friday afternoon's court hearing. The GOP had sued all of Arizona's County Recorders in order to stop four counties from reaching out to early voters if the signature on their envelope did not match the voter registration signature on file.

The Settlement Agreement announced instructs those counties to continue - until Wednesday, Nov. 14 -  the same "cure" procedures that they were practicing before Election Day. The other counties are also supposed to follow the same procedures that they were following before Election Day.

And, that is where some confusion arises. Brett Johnson, the attorney for the plaintiffs, announced again that their goal was to create parity between all of Arizona's counties. However, his later comments did not make it at all clear that the 11 "other counties" now need to go to the land of mismatched signatures and contact the affected voters. Many of those counties either did not contact voters with problematic signatures or ceased doing so several days before Election Day.

However, Kory Langhofer, attorney for the Arizona Republican Party, claimed victory after the hour-long hearing,  "This is a really big win for Republicans and Martha McSally. These rural counties that were not going to count Republicans votes in rural areas got caught with their pants down."

He quickly shifted the focus, however, claiming that it is unfair that Republicans only have 3 observers watching Maricopa County process the remaining hundreds of thousands of ballots. "You kidding me? That's not real transparency."

He acknowledged that that is the same number of observers they have had in past elections, and the Democrats have the same number. He declined to answer Arizona's Politics' question if that meant that the GOP will go to court to seek to increase the number of partisan observers.

Today's settlement will likely not be greeted warmly by President Trump, who tweeted shortly before the hearing that there was corruption going on in Arizona's vote counting.

Earlier in the day, the President had hinted that he felt it was corrupt, in televised remarks. Arizona's Politics reported on those remarks and you can watch his FULL response here.

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