Democratic Congressman Ron Barber's campaign has filed a federal lawsuit over 133 votes that were cast, not counted, in the race for his congressional seat.
Republican challenger Martha McSally leads Barber by 161 votes, but with a recount imminent, Barber's not giving up yet.
"We are talking about 133 Southern Arizona voters who lived up to their responsibility -- they registered to vote and then showed up to vote," Barber attorney Kevin Hamilton says in a statement. "We are asking the court to ensure that every lawful vote is counted. That's what America is all about."
Attorneys for Barber have appealed to officials in both counties where the votes went uncounted -- Cochise and Pima counties -- but the board of supervisors in both counties have approved the final canvass.
The attorneys for the Barber campaign allege in the lawsuit that both counties' results were approved without any public discussion about the claims brought by Barber.
Neither county's elections director was immediately available for comment this morning.
Attached to the lawsuit are signed affidavits from the voters in question, which are grouped together by seven different reasons their votes went uncounted.
The reasons include the signature on their ballot not matching the signature on their registration, or the lack of a signature, or alleged failures and misleading statements by elections officials regarding voters' proper voting precincts. A big chunk of the ballots weren't counted because they were cast in the wrong precinct.
Some of the voters have joined Barber's campaign as plaintiffs, including 81-year-old Lea Goodwine-Cesarac.
According to the lawsuit, Goodwine-Cesarac moved and updated her address more than a month before Election Day.
"The registrar assured her that she could change her voting address by phone and did not need to sign any forms to do so," the lawsuit states. "When she arrived at the polls on Election Day, she was informed that there was no record of her change of address. Rather than directing her to another polling place, poll workers directed her to cast a provisional ballot and told her that they expected the vote would be counted; it was not."
In a statement issued through Barber's campaign, Goodwine-Cesarac says, "I'm 81 years old, and in all my years, I never thought my vote would be tossed in the trash instead of counted."
Barber's campaign is seeking a restraining order that would prevent the Secretary of State's office from certifying the election results until the contested ballots have been counted, and an order forcing the counties to count these votes.
See the entire complaint below:
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