Kari Lake’s latest claim in Arizona governor’s election loss dismissed by judge
PHOENIX — A judge on Monday dismissed the only remaining lawsuit in Republican Kari Lake’s challenge to her loss in last year’s Arizona gubernatorial race, affirming Democrat Katie’s election Hobbs.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter A. Thompson said Lake failed to prove his claim that Maricopa County failed to verify signatures on mail-in ballots, as required by law.
Lake was among the most vocal Republican candidates last year to promote former President Donald Trump’s campaign lies, which she has made the centerpiece of her campaign. She has built a loyal following among Trump supporters and is openly considering running for the US Senate seat, now held by Kyrsten Sinema, a former independent Democrat. Lake is also often mentioned as a potential vice-presidential choice for Trump.
While most other election deniers across the country conceded after losing their races in November, Lake did not. She has touted her legal battle in fundraising appeals and speeches across the country.
Lake did not immediately comment on the decision.
She sued after losing to Hobbs by about 17,000 votes, asking the courts to install her as governor or order a new election. Thompson dismissed the case, but the Arizona Supreme Court has revived a claim that challenges how signature verification procedures were used in early polls in Maricopa County, home to more than 60% of state voters. County officials had defended signature verification efforts and said they had nothing to hide.
Lake’s signature verification request went through a three-day trial. His lawyers argued there was evidence that lower-level checkers who found inconsistencies in signatures moved them up the chain of command, where they were overlooked by higher-level checkers.
She did not dispute whether the voters’ signatures on the ballot envelopes matched those on their voting records.
The former TV presenter faced a high bar to prove not only her claim about signature verification efforts, but also that it affected her race outcome.
Thompson, who was named to the bench by former Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, said she hasn’t reached that high bar.
“The evidence received by the Court does not support Plaintiff’s remaining claim,” he wrote.
Earlier in her trial, Lake had focused on issues with ballot printers at some Maricopa County polling stations. The faulty printers produced ballots that were too light to be read by on-site tabulators at polling stations. Lines have been saved in some areas amid the confusion. Lake alleged that the ballot printer issues were the result of willful misconduct.
County officials say everyone had a chance to vote and all ballots were counted because those hit by the printers were taken to more sophisticated counters at election headquarters.
In mid-February, the Arizona Court of Appeals dismissed Lake’s claims, finding that she had presented no evidence that voters whose ballots were unreadable by tabulators at polling places were unable to vote.
The following month, the state Supreme Court declined to hear almost all of Lake’s appeal, saying there was no evidence to support his claim that more than 35,000 ballots had been added to the total votes.
Earlier this month, the court fined Lake’s attorneys $2,000 for misrepresenting that more than 35,000 ballots were incorrectly added to the total count.
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