Donald J. Trump for President v. Katie Hobbs - Case Summary

University / Undergraduate
Modified: 22nd Feb 2024
Wordcount: 496 words


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Legal Case Summary

Summary: This suit, filed by the Trump campaign, claimed Arizona's vote count was unlawfully influenced by poll workers' mishandling of 'overvotes.'


In the aftermath of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, Donald J. Trump's reelection campaign filed a federal lawsuit against Katie Hobbs, Secretary of State for Arizona, alleging election workers in the state illegitimately discounted 'overvotes' – instances where the tabulation machine detected more than one vote for a single office (Donald J. Trump for President v. Katie Hobbs, 2020).

The Trump campaign argued that poll workers should have given voters the chance to correct these overvotes but claimed instead that these workers pressed, or urged voters to press, the green button on the tabulation machines, thereby discarding the problematic votes.


The central issue was whether election officials in Maricopa County, Arizona, unlawfully rejected votes cast in the Presidential election when their tabulation machines detected overvotes. The Trump campaign argued that the alleged mishandling of these overvotes violated the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


The case reinforced the presumption of regularity that undergirds the administration of elections in the United States. The dismissal underscored the lack of legal grounds for widespread allegations of fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election. More broadly, the case highlighted the role of the judiciary in safeguarding democratic processes and strengthens the existing voting rights jurisprudence.


District Judge Steven Logan dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that the Trump campaign failed to furnish plausible evidence to back their claims. Notably, Judge Logan asserted that an audit of a statistically significant sample revealed an 'insignificantly small number of overvotes,' which wouldn't alter the election's outcome even if considered (Donald J. Trump for President v. Katie Hobbs, 2020).


  • Donald J. Trump for President v. Katie Hobbs, No. CV-20-02321-PHX-SPL (D. Ariz. 2020)

Journalist Brief

The Trump campaign alleged that Arizona poll workers mishandled 'overvotes' in the 2020 Presidential Election, causing these votes to be unlawfully discarded. An overvote occurs when a machine reads more than one vote for a single office. However, the judge dismissed the case, as there was insufficient evidence to support these claims, and an audit of a sample revealed only a small number of overvotes, too few to affect the outcome.


What is an overvote?

Answer: An overvote occurs when a voter selects more than the allowed number of choices for a particular position.

What were the Trump campaign's claims?

Answer: The Trump campaign claimed that poll workers in Arizona unlawfully discarded 'overvotes' during the 2020 Presidential election.

What was the court's ruling?

Answer: The court dismissed the case, stating that the Trump campaign failed to provide sufficient evidence for their allegations.

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