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Arizona Election Lawsuits Withdrawn Under Threat Of Sanctions

One of the three remaining lawsuits challenging Arizona’s presidential election results was withdrawn after the Secretary of State’s Office threatened to pursue legal fees and sanctions against the attorney involved.

The case, filed on behalf of four plaintiffs who identified themselves as members of something called the Arizona Election Integrity Association, included charges that Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg funneled money to election officials in nine Arizona counties through the Center for Tech and Civil Life in a way designed to deliberately skew the vote here for Biden.

Attorney David Spilsbury said Zuckerberg sought to create a "two-tiered treatment of the American voter," putting funds into "progressive strongholds" to turn out more voters. Other places, Spilsbury said, did not have the same opportunity.

"The strategy worked," he said.

Spilsbury noted that Biden got more than 300,000 more votes in Maricopa County than Hillary Clinton got in 2016. By contrast, he said, President Trump gained only about 150,000 votes.

It wasn't just Maricopa County that got grants. The organization says it also provided funds to Apache, Coconino, Graham, La Paz, Navajo, Pima, Pinal and Yuma counties in Arizona, with more than 2,500 recipients across the country.

Spilsbury said that some attorneys in Minnesota, who actually were the people bringing the lawsuit, decided not to pursue the matter.

Andy Gaona, an attorney for Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, wrote a letter to Spilsbury early Monday afternoon describing the case as “the very definition of a groundless action brought in bad faith, and without legal justification.”

Gaona threatened to pursue fees and financial sanctions Spilsbury and his clients, noting that judges presiding over other election challenges have authorized Hobbs to recoup her legal expenses.

“And she will do so here for being forced to defend yet another frivolous lawsuit brought by those who refuse to accept the results of Arizona’s safe, fair, and accurate 2020 General Election,” Gaona wrote.

The case was voluntarily dismissed hours later.

→  Get More 2020 Election News

Ben Giles is a senior editor at KJZZ.