Arizona Judge Rejects Kari Lake’s Legal Challenge of Governor’s Race Defeat
A judge in Arizona has rejected the final part of Kari Lake’s legal challenge of her 2022 governor’s race defeat. Lake’s team failed to show that Maricopa County, which includes the capital of Phoenix and is Arizona’s most populous county, did not properly perform signature verifications for early ballots, according to the ruling.
The court did not find “clear and convincing evidence or a preponderance of evidence” of misconduct in violation of the law and sufficient to overturn the results of the contest, wrote Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson. Thompson’s ruling also contained an order that said it was “confirming” the election of Democrat Katie Hobbs as the governor.
Lake’s team argued during the trial that signatures were reviewed so quickly — many in less than two or three seconds — that the process could not meet the legal standard. The Republican may yet appeal the decision. On Twitter, Lake posted a GIF saying, “FIX THIS BROKEN SYSTEM,” and tweeted about a “big announcement” on Tuesday.
Allegations of Misconduct and Illegal Votes
A former journalist who made election integrity a top priority of her campaign, Lake sued after the results showed that she lost the November contest to Hobbs by roughly 17,000 votes in the governor’s race. Hobbs was sworn in as governor in early January, and in the months since the November election, media reports have said Lake is mulling a Senate bid and former President Donald Trump is considering her as a possible vice presidential running mate.
Lake’s 2022 election complaint raised allegations of misconduct and illegal votes with issues ranging from mail-in ballots, chain-of-custody, and problematic ballot printers. In March, Arizona’s Supreme Court sent the last-remaining claim regarding signature verification back to the trial court, where Thompson previously threw out Lake’s challenge.
Maricopa County officials have acknowledged issues with the 2022 election but insisted every valid vote in the contest had been counted.
Wild Claims of Rigged Elections
“Wild claims of rigged elections may generate media attention and fundraising pleas, but they do not win court cases,” Maricopa County Chairman Clint Hickman said in a statement responding to Thompson’s ruling on Monday.
“When ‘bombshells’ and ‘smoking guns’ are not backed up by facts, they fail in court. This is justice, and this is what happened today in Kari Lake’s election contest,” he added.
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