Democrat Katie Hobbs is pushing back against challenger Kari Lake’s claims of election fraud in Arizona’s November governor’s race. Lake is not conceding defeat and is fighting for a new election.
Hobbs is seeking to thwart Lake’s legal challenge. In addition to a demand to have Lake’s case–set to be heard by an appeals court on Wednesday–scrapped, Hobbs has accused Lake of potential felony-level criminal activity and asked Secretary of State Adrian Fontes to order Attorney General Kris Mayes to launch an investigation.
Hobbs is claiming that Lake illegally shared voter information on her Twitter account. The images Lake posted reportedly support her claim that signatures on ballots were “illegally counted,” according to The Epoch Times.
Following a request from Hobbs’ legal team, Fontes wrote to Mayes on Jan. 30, recommending that he “investigate and take appropriate enforcement action against Kari Lake for potential violations of Arizona law committed under her Twitter handle, @KariLake.”
Lake’s Jan. 23 post included 16 images that appeared to show examples of early ballot signatures at variance with voter registration records. Lake claimed her photos prove election officials did not properly verify nearly 40,000 ballots cast in the November gubernatorial election; therefore, the ballots were “illegally counted.”
Lake wrote: “I think all the ‘Election Deniers’ out there deserve an apology.”
Lake contends the election results are in question because the current official data shows that she lost to current Gov. Katie Hobbs by approximately 17,000 votes.
Hobbs is pushing back, claiming that Lake violated Ariz. Rev. Stat. 16-168(F), a statute prohibiting “the unauthorized disclosure of voter registration information.”
Violators of the Class 6 felony can be sentenced to 68 months in prison, according to AZ-Defenders.
However, experts note that Ariz. Rev. Stat. 16-168(F) indicates there are circumstances in which voter information can be legally disclosed. An excerpt from the statute reads:
“Nothing in this section shall preclude public inspection of voter registration records at the office of the county recorder for the purposes prescribed by this section, except that … records containing a voter’s signature and a voter’s e-mail address shall not be accessible or reproduced by any person other than the voter.”
The Kari Lake “war room” responded to Hobbs’ latest attempt to thwart Lake’s legal challenge on Twitter:
“Adrian Fontes wants Kris Mayes to investigate & potentially imprison @KariLake for the ‘crime’ of … sharing signature verification evidence that was presented before the @AZSenateGOP & is currently in her lawsuit.”
“Welcome to the Banana Republic of Arizona,” the account added.
In follow-up posts, the Kari Lake War Room account claimed that Democrats do not want the signature verification issue to be addressed in court “because they’ve been pushing through bunk signatures for years.”
Lake’s Twitter account questioned various aspects of Arizona’s election day procedures — claiming the process of verifying and collecting votes was rife with error:
Lake’s attorneys have argued that widespread tabulation issues in Maricopa County alone — which were confirmed by Maricopa County officials Bill Gates and Stephen Richer — significantly impacted the gubernatorial race.
A fighter, Lake has vowed to escalate her complaint to the state Supreme Court if necessary. In a recent interview, Lake said:
“We’re going to move it all the way to the Supreme Court. It’s going there anyways; we’d love to see it just go there rather than have to go to the appellate court. Whatever happens, either side will move it up to the Supreme Court.”
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