Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake did not concede on Monday after Maricopa County certified its election results in favor of Democrat Katie Hobbs and said she is “firmly in this fight.”
“I want you to know that I am firmly in this fight with you,” Lake said in a video released on Twitter shortly after the election results were certified in Arizona’s most populous county. “Maricopa County just couldn’t wait to certify their botched election,” she said.
Citing issues reported by Maricopa County officials and voters on Nov. 8, Lake then said that “Election Day voting centers were inoperable” and said that “Arizonans were expected to wait in line two, three, four, even five hours” to cast a ballot.
Lake, a former television news anchor backed by former President Donald Trump, said that she is currently working with lawyers on a legal case to challenge the election in Maricopa County. It came after her team filed a lawsuit last week against officials there.
“State statute requires certification before our case can move forward,” Lake asserted. “You know how hard I worked on the campaign trail leading our movement to bring common sense solutions to our problems. I am taking that same work ethic and using it behind the scenes right now, building a strong legal case.”
In the Twitter video, Lake did not elaborate on the nature of her next lawsuit. The one her team filed last week (pdf) demanded the release of Maricopa’s election records, which Lake later said would be the basis of a larger legal challenge.
During the public comment period on Monday, a number of voters told Maricopa County supervisors that thousands of voters were disenfranchised at polling locations on Nov. 8. They made reference to problems at some voting centers such as being forced to drop off ballots in dropboxes, also accusing Maricopa officials of being corrupt.
County officials, however, pushed back on claims that voters were disenfranchised and said that tabulator machines were fixed later on Election Day. The five supervisors unanimously voted to certify the results of the election.
“Every voter had that opportunity to put their vote in that ballot box.” Scott Jarrett, an elections official, told the hearing on Monday.
And Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates told the audience that they had no choice but to certify the result of the election. The last day under state law to certify is Nov. 28.
“Certification is not an optional act for boards of supervisors,” he said. “We’ve had this date circled on our calendars for quite a while now.”
Gail Golec, a Republican candidate for supervisors, said that Gates’ claims are inaccurate, according to local media. The county’s elections manual said a certification, or canvass, shouldn’t be conducted “until all necessary audits have been completed to verify the accuracy and the integrity of the election results.”
“We do not have accuracy, we do not have integrity in these election results,” Golec told the board, adding that more audits are needed.
Hobbs Files Lawsuit
In another county, Hobbs, the secretary of state, asked a judge to order Cochise County officials to canvass the election, which she said is an obligation under Arizona law. Lawyers representing a Cochise County voter and a group of retirees filed a similar lawsuit Monday, the deadline for counties to approve the official tally of votes, known as the canvass.
The two Republican county supervisors delayed the canvass vote until Friday, when they want to hear once more about concerns over the certification of ballot tabulators, though election officials have repeatedly said the equipment is properly approved.
State Elections Director Kori Lorick wrote in a letter last week that Hobbs is required by law to approve the statewide canvass by next week and will have to exclude Cochise County’s votes if they aren’t received in time.
That would threaten to flip the victor in at least two close races—a U.S. House seat and state schools chief—from a Republican to a Democrat.
“The Board of Supervisors had all of the information they needed to certify this election and failed to uphold their responsibility for Cochise voters,” Sophia Solis, a spokeswoman for Hobbs, told news outlets.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.