Kari Lake Provides Update on Arizona Election Case

Kari Lake Provides Update on Arizona Election Case
Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake speaks to supporters during her election night event at The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Nov. 8, 2022. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips
Updated:
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Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake wrote she will soon be taking her election lawsuit to the state’s Supreme Court after an appeals court rejected her bid earlier this month to toss the Nov. 8 midterm results.

In a Twitter update on Sunday, Lake confirmed she will be taking her case to the Supreme Court this week. It came about two weeks after the Arizona Court of Appeals rejected her election suit, which alleged that vote-tabulating issues, delays, and long lines in Maricopa County on Election Day disproportionately impacted her chances of winning.

“We will be filing our case with the AZ Supreme Court by this Tuesday (2/28) and we will be asking for an expedited review,” the GOP candidate wrote. “As soon as the filings are available I will share them with you. Please pray for justice.” Lake then posted a link to her “Save Arizona Fund.”
Previously, Lake attempted to transfer her election lawsuit to the state’s highest court, which rejected her bid. The Supreme Court said earlier this month that it would not take up the case if the Court of Appeals was already hearing it.

In December, Lake filed a lawsuit asking the court to either re-do the election in Maricopa or declare her the winner after the results showed that she trailed former Secretary of State and now-Gov. Katie Hobbs by about 17,000 votes. Hobbs, a Democrat, was sworn-in as governor in early January.

A Maricopa County judge, Peter Thompson, later rejected her case after a two-day trial in late December. The judge ruled that not enough evidence was presented to overturn the Nov. 8 election results in favor of Lake, prompting the Republican to take her case to the state’s appeals court.

Lawyers for Lake argued in their appeal that Thompson had “erred by requiring she provide proof that her allegations of official misconduct affected” the election results, including that they intended to deny her victory.

They also pointed to statements made by top Maricopa County officials on Election Day confirming there were vote-tabulating errors. Later, those officials said the issues were corrected and claimed that no voters were disenfranchised, although videos posted by Lake on Twitter that featured Maricopa voters complaining about delays suggest otherwise.

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates speaks to reporters while departing a press conference at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 14, 2022. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates speaks to reporters while departing a press conference at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov. 14, 2022. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

Her lawyers said that defective printers produced ballots that were too light to be read by the on-site tabulators at dozens of polling places. Lines backed up in some areas amid the confusion.

Lake’s attorneys also asserted that the chain of custody for ballots was broken at an off-site facility, where a contractor scans mail ballots to prepare them for processing. They said that workers at the facility put their own mail ballots into the pile, rather than returning them through normal channels, and also that paperwork documenting the transfer of ballots was missing. The county disputes those claims.

The state appeals court rejected her case in mid-Feburary.

“Lake’s arguments highlight election day difficulties,” the appeals court wrote (pdf), “but her request for relief fails because the evidence presented to the superior court ultimately supports the court’s conclusion that voters were able to cast their ballots, that votes were counted correctly, and that no other basis justifies setting aside the election results.”

The three-judge panel added that the GOP candidate’s “claim thus boils down to a suggestion that election-day issues led to long lines at vote centers, which frustrated and discouraged voters, which allegedly resulted in a substantial number of predominately Lake voters not voting.” But it added her “only purported evidence that these issues had any potential effect on election results was, quite simply, sheer speculation,” according to the ruling.

County officials had said that everyone in Maricopa County, home to most of the state’s population, had a chance to vote and all ballots were counted since ballots affected by the printers were taken to more sophisticated counters at the elections department headquarters.

Meanwhile, there has been speculation that Lake, who grew her national profile considerably as she campaigned for governor, could become a GOP presidential candidate’s vice president or run for Arizona’s Senate seat in 2024. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), a former Democrat-turned-independent, currently occupies the seat but hasn’t made a public statement on whether she’s running again.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
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