Arizona Supreme Court Orders Hearing for GOP Candidate Kari Lake’s Signature Verification Issue
Remanded Claims Allowed to Proceed to Trial Court
Previously, the court remanded one of Lake’s election-related claims to trial court and allowed sanctions to be considered against her. Lake’s claim that Maricopa County violated its signature verification rules during last year’s election was allowed to proceed to trial court after it was improperly dismissed by a lower court.
Fine for False Claims
Lake’s lawyers were fined $2,000 for making “unequivocally false” claims that more than 35,000 ballots were “injected” into Maricopa County’s total after the midterm election finished. Lake’s lawyers in March said that those ballots were added to the total at a third-party processing facility, while noting that Lake lost to now-Gov. Katie Hobbs by 17,000 votes.
Lake’s attorneys said the chain of custody for ballots was broken at an off-site facility where a contractor scans mail-in ballots to prepare them for processing. The lawyers asserted that workers put their own mail-in ballots into the pile rather than returning them through normal channels, and that paperwork documenting ballot transfers was missing. Maricopa County disputes the claims.
Denial of Requests for Legal Sanctions
The court denied requests by Hobbs and Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, both Democrats, to seek more legal sanctions over Lake’s allegations.
Rules of Attorney Ethics Apply
“Sometimes campaigns and their attendant hyperbole spill over into legal challenges. But once a contest enters the judicial arena, rules of attorney ethics apply,” wrote Justice Robert Brutinel in his ruling.
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