Supreme Court Declines to Hear Arizona Election Fraud Challenge

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Seated from left: Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, standing from left: Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch and Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett pose during a group photo of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 23, 2021. (Photo by Erin Schaff / POOL / AFP)

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a challenge filed by an Arizona resident who had sought to prove claims of election fraud during the Nov. 3 election in her state.

The nine justices, without comment, dismissed (pdf) a request by Pinal County resident Staci Burk to find evidence of election fraud. Burk had sought access to ballots to prove that some were invalid or fraudulent.

Earlier this year, the Arizona Supreme Court issued a ruling that agreed with a trial court judge in Pinal County that Burk lacked the right to contest the election. The reason given was that she wasn’t a registered voter at the time she filed her lawsuit, as required in state election contests. Both courts also agreed that she made her legal challenge too late, after the five-day period for filing such an action had passed.

Burk said in her lawsuit that she was a qualified Arizona voter, but officials said they discovered she wasn’t registered to vote. She later said she mistakenly thought “qualified electors” were people who were merely eligible to vote, and that her voter registration was canceled because election workers were unable to verify her address.

“There is nothing before the Court to indicate that Appellant timely contacted the appropriate authorities to correct any problems with her voter registration,” Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel wrote. “An election challenge … is not the proper vehicle to reinstate voter registration.”

Brutinel also said that Burk had admitted “that she was well aware before the election that she would not be able to vote in the general election … There is nothing before the court to indicate that [Burk] timely contacted the appropriate authorities to correct any problems with her voter registration.”

In her petition to the Supreme Court, Burk wanted a hearing over the question about whether she was an “elector.”

Meanwhile, an audit ordered by the Arizona state Senate of nearly 2.1 million Maricopa County, Arizona, ballots could last for weeks, according to former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, the Senate audit liaison.

Bennett said over the weekend that there is “no deadline” and added that the Senate has been granted permission to the state fairgrounds “for as long as we need it.”

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court threw out a slew of election-related lawsuits, including former President Donald Trump’s last remaining challenge.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The case is 20-1243 Burk, Staci V. Ducey, Gov. of Az, et al.



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