A group of Arizona citizens, including one Republican Congressional candidate, is asking the state’s Supreme Court to invalidate all election results since 2018 and remove all elected officials from their offices immediately.
And who should replace the ousted election officials? Well, the citizens who filed the lawsuit, of course.
The legal petition claims all officials elected in Arizona since 2018 are “inadvertent usurpers” because the elections they won were conducted by vote-counting equipment that was not properly certified.
The plaintiffs claim the evidence to back up this staggering claim will be provided in the lawsuit’s appendix, which unfortunately they had not submitted at the time of writing.
The plaintiffs claim that the court has the authority to void the terms of the named officials—which include Gov. Doug Ducey and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs—and install themselves as appropriate replacements.
“When in the past citizens have been appointed by the Governor to finish out a Senate term due to unusual circumstances, the Governor has typically chosen pedigreed, well-known politicians, but this is not necessary. Any Arizona resident meeting the minimum qualifications is entitled to and has the right be appointed to a seat in unusual situations,” the lawsuit claims.
The legal filing is the latest harebrained effort by pro-Trump and QAnon supporters in Arizona to get the results of November’s election overturned. There is currently an audit of 2.1 million votes being conducted in Maricopa County. The GOP-sanctioned recount is being conducted by a Florida-based company called Cyber Ninjas, which has no experience conducting audits.
So far the group has used UV lights to look for watermarks that conspiracy theorists claim were placed on certain ballots by former President Donald Trump to prove election fraud. And last week they began examining the ballots for bamboo fibers, based on a false claim that 40,000 ballots were flown in from Asia to tip the election in President Joe Biden’s favor.
The new lawsuit was filed with the Arizona Supreme Court on Friday, and the plaintiffs in the case sought to have their names redacted. “Petitioners have chosen to redact their names and personal information and utilize initials due a reasonable concern for their safety,” the plaintiffs write in the lawsuit.
But the group does give some indication of who they are by calling themselves “We the People,” a widely used phrase in the QAnon community.
One of the people involved in the “We the People” group is Daniel Wood, a former Marine who was a Republican candidate for Congress in last November’s elections.
Wood, who was beaten by Democratic rival Rep. Raul Grijalva, is mentioned at the bottom of a press release about the lawsuit which was published by the right-wing website the Gateway Pundit.
Also listed on the press release is Josh Barnett, a businessman who says he is a Republican candidate for Congress in 2022.
“As average citizens of Arizona, from all walks of life, we have discovered that our past elections in 2018 thru 2020 are out of compliance per the U.S. Election Assistance Commission,” Wood and Barnett claim in the press release.
Wood and Barnett did not respond to a request for comment from VICE News.
The lawsuit was shared widely on pro-Trump and QAnon message boards and channels over the weekend.
“Hang onto your hats, it's getting wild in Arizona,” Dave Hayes, a prominent QAnon booster known as “Praying Medic”, told his 61,000 Telegram followers on Sunday. Ron Watkins, the administrator of the message board 8kun who’s been identified as a likely author of many “Q drops,” also shared the news with his 200,000 Telegram followers, saying the lawsuit “is something to watch carefully as it plays out.”
But not everyone in the Republican world is happy about the efforts to overturn the election results, including those who voted to sanction the audit last month.
“It makes us look like idiots,” State Sen. Paul Boyer, a Republican from suburban Phoenix who supported the audit, told the New York Times.
“Looking back, I didn’t think it would be this ridiculous. It’s embarrassing to be a state senator at this point.”