Kari Lake loses after losing Arizona governorship

Judge rules there was no evidence of widespread wrongdoing in the election, which she lost by 17,000 votes.

FILE – Kari Lake, Republican nominee for Governor of Arizona, speaks to supporters of the Republican Watch Party in Scottsdale, Arizona on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. A judge has dismissed Lake’s challenge to her loss in the Arizona governor’s race against Democrat Katie Hobbs, Saturday, December 24. The judge dismissed her claim that problems with ballot printers at some polling stations on election day were the result of willful misconduct. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, file)

phoenix • A judge has dismissed Republican Kari Lake’s challenge to her loss in the Arizona governor’s race to Democrat Katie Hobbs and dismissed her claim that problems with ballot printers at some polling stations on Election Day were the result of willful misconduct.

In a decision Saturday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson, who was appointed by former Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, found that the court failed to find clear and compelling evidence of the widespread wrongdoing that Lake allegedly caused the finding of 2022 influenced general election. Lake will appeal the verdict, she said in a statement.

The judge said Lake’s witnesses had no personal knowledge of any willful misconduct.

“The court cannot accept speculation or conjecture in place of clear and convincing evidence,” Thompson said.

Lake, who lost to Hobbs by just over 17,000 votes, was among the most vocal Republicans in 2022, promoting former President Donald Trump’s election lies, which she made the centerpiece of her campaign. While most other electoral deniers across the country caved in after losing their races in November, Lake did not. Instead, she asked the judge to either declare her the winner or order a re-vote in Maricopa County, home to more than 60% of Arizona voters.

In the ruling, the judge acknowledged the “anger and frustration” of voters who were harassed at the polls, noting that overturning the results of an election “has never happened in the history of the United States.”

“But the duty of this court is not just to heed the public outcry,” the judge continued. “It is intended to expose the claims of the plaintiff and the actions of the defendants to the light of the courtroom and the scrutiny of the law.”

Lake’s attorneys focused on problems with ballot printers at some Maricopa County polling stations. The defective printers produced ballots that were too light to be read by the tabulators in the polling stations. In some areas, lines have been secured amid the confusion.

County officials say everyone had an opportunity to vote, and all ballots were counted as ballots affected by the printers were taken to more sophisticated counters at Elections Department headquarters. You are about to investigate the root cause of printer problems.

Lake’s attorneys also alleged the chain of custody for ballots was broken at an outside facility, where a contractor scans absentee ballots to prepare them for processing. They claimed the facility’s staff placed their own absentee ballots in the pile instead of mailing their ballots through the normal channels, and that the paperwork documenting the transmission of the ballots was also missing. The district denies the claim.

Faced with extremely high odds in her challenge, Lake not only had to prove that there had been wrongdoing, but that it was intended to deny her victory and actually resulted in the wrong woman being declared the winner.

Her attorneys referred to a witness who examined ballots on behalf of her campaign and discovered 14 ballots that had 19-inch (48-centimeter) images of the ballot printed on 20-inch paper, meaning the ballots were not read from a tab became . The witness insisted someone had changed those printer configurations, a claim denied by election officials.

County officials say the ballot images were slightly smaller because a technical worker looking for solutions to Election Day problems selected a shrink function on a printer. They say about 1,200 ballots were affected by the feature’s activation and that those ballots were duplicated so they could be read by a tab. Ultimately, those ballots were tallied, officials said.

A person who conducts opinion polls testified on Lake’s behalf, claiming that technical problems at the polling stations disenfranchised enough voters to tip the outcome of the race in Lake’s favor. But an expert called to testify by election officials said there was no evidence to support the pollster’s claim that 25,000 to 40,000 people who would normally have voted actually didn’t cast ballots because of problems on election day.

A witness summoned on behalf of Lake acknowledged that people whose votes were rejected by tabulators or ballot-on-demand printers — which happens to many voters — could still cast a ballot and have it counted.

“The BOD printer failures didn’t really affect the election results,” the judge said.

Thompson previously dismissed eight of the 10 claims Lake made in her lawsuit. Among them was Lake’s allegation that Hobbs, in her capacity as Secretary of State and Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, participated in the censorship by flagging social media posts with election misinformation with a view to potentially removing them from Twitter. He also dismissed their claims of discrimination against Republicans and that mail-in voting was illegal.

Hobbs takes office as governor on January 2nd.

Earlier Friday, another judge dismissed Republican Abraham Hamadeh’s challenge to the results of his race against Democrat Kris Mayes for Arizona attorney general. The court concluded that Hamadeh, who finished 511 votes behind Mayes and did not give up the race, did not prove the vote counting errors he claimed.

A court hearing is scheduled for Thursday to present the results of recounts in the races for attorney general, state commissioner and a seat on the state legislature.

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2022/12/24/kari-lake-loses-suit-over-her/ Kari Lake loses after losing Arizona governorship

Justin Scacco

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