A judge’s order may allow Kari Lake to inspect a small number of ballots cast in Maricopa County in the 2022 midterm election next week.
On Friday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson granted Lake’s request for her representative to inspect 50 ballots cast at six different voting centers, printed by ballot-on-demand printers on Election Day.
She will also be allowed to inspect 50 ballot-on-demand printed ballots from Election Day that were marked as spoiled and 50 early voting ballots from six separate batches of ballots. All of the ballots are to be randomly selected by Lake’s representative.
Thompson, however, denied Lake’s request to inspect 50 ballot envelopes from early voting ballots, explaining that, “Early-ballot return envelopes are not themselves ballots, even if they arrive as a “package” as Plaintiff argues. The defendants are correct that ballots — unlike the return envelopes — do not contain signatures. Indeed, they cannot, as the Arizona Constitution requires that ‘secrecy in voting shall be preserved,’ by any voting method prescribed by the legislature.”
However, the case must first survive multiple motions to dismiss that are expected to be filed over the weekend. The defendants in the case, including Hobbs, the members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and other county officials, have all filed motions to dismiss the suit.
Lake’s attorneys have until noon Saturday to respond to those motions. If the case isn’t dismissed, ballot inspection is set for Tuesday morning.
In addition to Lake’s representative, the court will appoint a person from the defense team and another selected by the court to take part in the ballot inspection.
Lake’s lawsuit is challenging the results of the election for Arizona governor. The suit claims that the midterm election in Maricopa County was struck with “intentional misconduct,” including the “hacking” of election equipment to specifically disenfranchise Republican voters after technical issues at polling locations across the county.
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