On Saturday, an Arizona judge dismissed the most well-known case contesting the results of the midterm elections by ruling against Kari Lake in her challenge to Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs’ (D) victory. After a two-day trial, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson concluded that Lake had not established that election officials’ willful misconduct was sufficient to alter the outcome of the race.
Lake, who fell short of Hobbs by around 17,000 votes, said Maricopa County election officials tampered with the results on Election Day by breaking chain of custody rules and causing printer issues. Lake pleaded with the judge to proclaim her the legitimate victor or call for a fresh ballot in Maricopa County. Hobbs will take office on January 2.
Even if accurate, Thompson had previously dismissed eight other claims made in Lake’s case before trial because they did not meet the requirements for an election contest under Arizona law. Nevertheless, the court allowed Lake to try to prove the two remaining claims during the trial.
The decision is a significant setback for Lake, who has railed against the handling of last month’s midterm elections, calling it “botched” and a “sham.” Lake has been an outspoken supporter of former President Trump’s 2020 election allegations. Despite not giving a testimony, Lake watched the trial from the audience.
Her claims mostly targeted Maricopa County, the hub of claims of voter enfranchisement in the midterm elections, which encompasses the Phoenix area and nearly 60% of Arizona’s population.
Election authorities admitted that printer issues occurred at some of the county’s polling places on Election Day, making it impossible for tabulators to read ballots, but they insisted that voters could use backup procedures to finally have their vote tallied.
Asserting through witness evidence and affidavits that the difficulties were deliberately designed to give Hobbs the victory and disenfranchise enough Lake supporters to lead to the Republican’s loss, Lake’s campaign pointed out that Election Day voters often support Republicans.
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer (R) said, “absolutely not,” when asked whether he knew of anyone who had purposefully harmed the printers during the trial.
When Clay Parikh, a witness for Lake’s campaign, was called, he claimed to have seen at 14 votes with a 19-inch image printed on a 20-inch piece of paper. According to Parikh, the mismatch would lead to tabulation problems and necessitate changing the printer’s settings on purpose.
According to Maricopa County Co-Elections Director Scott Jarrett, the county’s root cause investigation is still ongoing, although officials have determined that printer heat settings were a factor in the issue.
Just under 1,300 ballots with the smaller picture were produced at three vote centers, according to Jarrett, who claimed temporary personnel trying to solve the faults activated a shrink-to-fit print setting. However, Jarrett insisted those ballots were finally counted.
Richard Baris, who oversaw exit polling in Arizona for the conservative business Big Data Poll, was also contacted by Lake’s campaign. Baris felt that the Election Day flaws were sufficient to alter the result. He claimed that part of the conclusion his company came to was based on historical data and a question on exit polls asking voters if they had any problems casting their ballots.
During cross-examination, Baris admitted that the poll was unable to determine whether the problems were caused by the printer failures or if they prevented people from voting.
One of Hobbs’ lawyers also pointed out that, out of the approximately 500 pollsters it evaluates, Baris’ company is one of the 10 organizations that FiveThirtyEight has banned. FiveThirtyEight, according to Baris, is not “an authority” on pollsters.
When early ballots were given to Runbeck Election Services, a third party that scanned photos of ballot signatures so the county could validate them, Lake’s campaign claimed Maricopa County broke chain of custody regulations.
When Heather Honey asked Maricopa County for the chain of custody paperwork for the early ballots that were dropped off on Election Day, Maricopa County responded that it did not have such documents, according to Heather Honey, who testified on behalf of Lake’s campaign.
According to Joe Larue, a lawyer for Maricopa County, Honey misinterpreted the various kinds of chain of custody paperwork and claimed they were real.
Additionally, Honey said that a Runbeck worker had informed her that workers might bring their family members’ ballots directly to the location to be counted. The worker had observed roughly 50 ballots being brought in in this manner.
Honey responded that it wasn’t a “answerable question” when Hobbs attorney Andy Gaona questioned her on if she had any additional proof of other ballots being introduced into the system.
Rey Valenzuela, the co-elections director for Maricopa County, admitted during the trial that he was unaware of Runbeck’s policy of permitting its staff to insert ballots.
With the judge’s ruling, a GOP appeal to the election results in Arizona has been rejected four times.
Both the action contesting Hobbs’ election and the case contesting the victory of Adrian Fontes, the incoming Democratic secretary of state of Arizona, were dismissed; however, Fontes’ Republican opponent has appealed the decision.
Abe Hamadeh, a Republican running for Arizona attorney general, lost a separate election challenge on Friday. There will be an automatic recount because Hamadeh is only down by 511 votes out of 2.5 million ballots.
I’m glad you’re here, WayneDupree.com comments! Please maintain polite and on-topic conversations. You could see comments from our Community Managers, who will be identified by a “WD Staff” or “Staff” label, in order to promote fruitful and civil discussions. We stop accepting comments on articles three days after they are posted in order to provide the optimal user experience. The conversations forums on WayneDupree.com welcome comments for an unlimited period of time. For further information, please refer to our community policies.
SIGN UP HERE and join us!
Follow Wayne on Rumble!