Republicans ask Arizona Court of Appeals to review challenge to election procedures manual

Flags of the United States and the US state of Arizona waving against a blue sky. 3D rendering (Adobe Stock)
Flags of the United States and the US state of Arizona waving against a blue sky. 3D rendering (Adobe Stock)

After an Arizona judge rejected their challenge to the state’s Election Procedures Manual (EPM), Republicans are asking a state appeals court to weigh in on the state’s election guidelines.

In May, a lower court dismissed the RNC’s lawsuit filed in early February seeking to invalidate the state’s 2023 EPM. The court rejected the request, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to “state a claim upon which relief can be granted” and holding that the state’s administrative rules do not apply to the EPM.

Now, Republicans are appealing that decision in hopes of wreaking havoc on the state’s election administration ahead of the 2024 election. Democracy Docket is currently tracking three active right-wing lawsuits targeting Arizona’s 2023 EPM.

Original article, May 14, 2024

A state court has rejected the Republican National Committee’s attempt to overturn the election administration in Arizona, a key battleground state for the 2024 presidential election.

The decision marks the end of a case brought by the RNC in early February that sought to invalidate the state’s 2023 Election Procedures Manual (EPM).

The lawsuit, filed by the RNC, the Arizona Republican Party and the Yavapai County Republican Party, alleged that Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D) failed to provide the public with adequate notice and an opportunity to comment before implementing the EPM, in violation of the Arizona Administrative Procedure Act. The case, which specifically targeted the state’s election policies related to citizenship requirements, absentee voting procedures and signature verification, sought to create chaos ahead of the 2024 election by invalidating the state’s election administration guidance document.

The court rejected that effort, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to “state a claim upon which relief can be granted” and holding that state administrative procedure rules do not apply to the EPM.

As Arizona prepares for the 2024 election cycle, right-wing plaintiffs have taken to targeting the state’s election administration. With the RNC case now closed, four anti-voting lawsuits are pending against the election administration, two of which still challenge the state’s EPM system. Last month, a state court judge rejected a right-wing attempt to overturn mail-in voting procedures through two separate lawsuits targeting signature verification and drop boxes.

Read the order here.

Learn more about the case here.