Republicans and President Donald Trump’s campaign say they have video proof of voter irregularities in Arizona, but according to the Washington Examiner, they may not be allowed to show the footage in court.
A lawsuit filed over the weekend alleges that voters were told to push a green button when voting machines alerted them that there was a problem with their ballot, and that some poll workers also pushed the button when ballots were problematic.
Poll workers said that pushing the green button would correct the problem and allow the ballot to be counted, but the lawsuit said it would, in fact, invalidate the ballot, the Examiner noted.
A video obtained by the campaign purports to prove that the alleged irregularities did in fact happen, but Maricopa County officials are trying to block the use of the video because it was illegally obtained. According to the Examiner, it’s unlawful to take video inside a polling place in Arizona.
“That’s relevant evidence”
Trump lawyer Kory Langhofer filed a motion Tuesday to allow the video to be admitted as evidence, despite the law against filming in a polling place. According to the Examiner, Langhofer said he wouldn’t “wouldn’t have signed off on” taking the video, which was filmed by a voter, but said “now that it exists and it shows the poll worker pressing the green button, that’s relevant evidence.”
“I don’t see why it’s not admissible,” Langhofer said, adding that the video could be sealed to protect voters’ private information.
Of course, Maricopa County officials disagreed with Langhofer. “It appears the videographers violated Arizona law: it is a class 2 misdemeanor to take photographs or videos within the seventy-five foot limit around polling locations while voters are present,” they said in response, as the Examiner reported. “Accordingly, these videos cannot be sealed, because they may be needed by the Attorney General or County Attorney should they choose to prosecute this unlawful behavior.”
Lawyers for the county went on: “It would [be] counterintuitive to have individuals invade the privacy of voters and violate their right to vote in secret and then use the fruit of that potentially illegal activity to advance a civil case.”
Headed for a recount?
Trump, for his part, now trails Biden by less than 12,000 votes in Arizona, and there remains a chance that he could overtake the Democrat as the last batches of votes are counted in the state. The final vote count is expected to be even closer than it is now, and a recount is possible.
Recounts usually only change vote totals by hundreds of votes at the most, but the high number of mail-in ballots in this election could lead to higher numbers of votes being changed, particularly if more alleged irregularities in the vote — like this green button pushing — are found.
Of course, it won’t matter which candidate wins Arizona if Trump can’t also win several other contested states, including some combination of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia. There are lawsuits pending against all of these states, NPR notes, as well as Michigan, where Biden leads by a more comfortable 145,000 votes.
Whether Trump can find enough votes to make himself president again is currently uncertain, but either way, voters have the right to know that their elections are secure and not fraudulent. It would be a disservice to the country not to at least look into these claims of impropriety.