/ Modified may 14, 2024 5:07 p.m.

Judge tosses Republican lawsuit that sought to declare Arizona’s elections manual invalid

Two other lawsuits challenging the manual are still alive in a county court.

Voting, Ballot, Election 2023 A mail-in ballot from the 2023 Pima County Election.
AC Swedbergh / AZPM

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit by Republicans who sought to have Arizona’s election procedures manual declared invalid, marking the defeat of one of three challenges seeking to throw out parts of the state’s guide for conducting elections.

In a ruling released Tuesday, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge threw out a lawsuit filed by the Republican National Committee, the Republican Party of Arizona, and the Yavapai County Republican Party that alleged the period for public comment on the manual was too short. The challenge also asked the court to block enforcement of certain portions of the manual.

The court concluded that Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, who had created the manual as the state’s chief election officer and who was targeted in the lawsuit, had complied with Arizona's notice-and-comment requirements.

The Republican National Committee and the Republican Party of Arizona didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the dismissal.

Fontes' office stood by the manual in a statement.

“We used this manual to effectively run the presidential preference election in March and will continue using the EPM to ensure fair elections in the upcoming primary and general” elections, the statement said.

Two other lawsuits challenging the manual remain alive in Maricopa County Superior Court.

The Arizona Free Enterprise Club had filed a lawsuit that zeroed in on the manual’s instructions on operating ballot drop-off locations and preventing voter intimidation.

Another lawsuit by Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma, both Republicans, alleged that parts of the manual conflicted with state law.

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