Sunday 25 December 2022

Judge Rules Against Kari Lake In Election Lawsuit

 A judge in Arizona dismissed a lawsuit brought by Kari Lake, a Republican endorsed by former President Donald Trump, seeking to overturn her defeat in the state governor’s race.

After a trial last week in Phoenix, Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ruled on Saturday that the suit’s two remaining claims lacked “clear and convincing” evidence of intentional misconduct in Maricopa County that would sway the outcome.

Now-Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the Democrat in the race, is poised to be sworn in as governor. Lake has vowed to appeal.

Lake, a former journalist who made election integrity a top priority of her campaign, sued Hobbs and Maricopa County after the results showed that she lost the November contest to Hobbs by roughly 17,000 votes.

Maricopa County, which includes the capital of Phoenix and is Arizona’s most populous county, struggled with problems during the November 8 election, including printer and tabulation machine-related issues. In her suit, Lake claimed election officials worked to disenfranchise voters and alleged “hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots infected the election in Maricopa County.”

Last week, Thompson dismissed eight out of 10 claims in the lawsuit. He allowed two claims to proceed that had to do with allegations of intentional misconduct related to malfunctioning ballot printers and a failure to follow ballot chain-of-custody procedures.

During the ensuing trial, lawyers for the state argued the case lacked merit. The judge, in his 10-page ruling, concurred, determining Lake and the witnesses she called to testify failed to make an adequate case, even after being granted limited ballot inspections.

The court “acknowledges the anger and frustration of voters who were subjected to inconvenience and confusion at voter centers as technical problems arose during the 2022 General Election,” Thompson said.

“But this Court’s duty is not solely to incline an ear to public outcry,” the judge added. “It is to subject plaintiff’s claims and defendants’ actions to the light of the courtroom and scrutiny of the law.”

Two other Republican candidates, Abe Hamadeh and Mark Finchem, who ran for attorney general and secretary of state, respectively, also received unfavorable rulings in their legal challenges seeking to challenge their losses. Like Finchem, Lake is taking the appeal route.

“My Election Case provided the world with evidence that proves our elections are run outside of the law. This Judge did not rule in our favor. However, for the sake of restoring faith and honesty in our elections, I will appeal his ruling,” Lake said in a tweet Saturday.

Hobbs celebrated the dismissal. A statement from her campaign manager, Nicole DeMont, said the “voters of Arizona — not the conspiracy-riddled, dark corners of the Internet — are the ones who chose our leaders.”

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates called the ruling “a win for Arizona voters and American democracy.”

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