The Arizona Court of Appeals Thursday rejected a plea from unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake to set aside Democrat Katie Hobbs 2022 election win.
Former broadcast journalist Kari Lake filed a December lawsuit against former Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and several Maricopa County officials. Lake claimed her 17,117 vote loss to the Democrat Hobbs resulted from improperly functioning ballot printers in Maricopa County. She further claimed unusually long wait times caused by the faulty printers resulted in some supporters not voting because of time constraints.
She requested Maricopa County Superior Court either order a do-over election in Maricopa County or outright declare her the winner and install her as state governor. After a two-day trial, Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ruled against her, explaining Lake did not present sufficient evidence to prove her claims.
“Every single witness before the Court disclaimed any personal knowledge of such misconduct,” Thompson ruled. “The Court cannot accept speculation or conjecture in place of clear and convincing evidence.”
Lake promptly appealed, petitioning both Arizona’s Court of Appeals and the state’s Supreme Court.
She asked for an expedited ruling due to the time sensitive nature of the election results. The Court of Appeals entered an order January 9 consolidating her appeal and special action. That court also issued an expedited briefing schedule, scheduling her appeal for February 1.
Lake’s attorneys argued Judge Thompson “erred by requiring she provide proof that her allegations of official misconduct affected” election results, including that they intended to deny her victory.
“A higher burden of proof is consistent with the holdings in those cases,” The three-judge panel said Thursday. “We thus agree with the superior court that Lake was required to prove her case by clear and convincing evidence.”
“Ultimately, her arguments about legal standards and definitions are unavailing because her claims fail under any standard for reasons set forth below,” Chief Judge Kent E. Cattani concluded in his opinion, which was joined by the other two judges.
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