Judge orders sanctions against Arizona GOP candidate who refused to accept loss

March 08, 2023

An Arizona judge has ordered sanctions against Mark Finchem⁩ and his attorney over false claims they made about election fraud after Finchem, the Republican candidate for Arizona secretary of state, lost his race in November and refused to accept the results. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Melissa Iyer Julian tossed his suit in December, saying it was groundless. “None of contestant Finchem’s allegations, even if true, would have changed the vote count enough to overcome the 120,000 votes he needed to affect the result of this election,” Julian wrote. In Arizona alone, a slate of far-right election deniers — including Finchem, GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, Senate candidate Blake Masters and attorney general candidate Abraham Hamadeh — all lost their races in November to Democrats. Across the country, state election officials and lawmakers have drafted legislation and taken other actions to fight election denialism and misinformation.