Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake (R) has lost her legal challenge contesting the results of the November 2022 election.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter A. Thompson ruled that Lake did not sufficiently substantiate her election fraud claims, thus cementing a win for Democrat Katie Hobbs.
The court’s ruling was disappointing to conservatives and cause for celebration for many on the left.
Lake, a strong Trump supporter and short-list contender for his vice presidential running mate, lost her bid for governor by approximately 17,000 votes.
Noting abnormalities in the election process, Lake refused to concede and filed a legal complaint claiming voting sites were closed, ballot printers were inaccurate and voting officials did not properly review signatures on mail-in ballots as required by state law.
Lake is reportedly considering running for a seat in the Senate — currently held by embattled Kyrsten Sinema — a former Democrat turned Independent in 2022. Lake has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday — reportedly to share a notable announcement.
Lake challenged the results of the 2022 election in multiple lower courts over the last six months. Following losses, Lake repeatedly appealed to higher courts, and in February, the Arizona Court of Appeals denied Lake’s request to overturn election results.
The matter escalated to the Arizona Supreme Court, which initially rejected almost all elements of Lake’s appeal, citing insufficient evidence.
Arizona’s Supreme Court ultimately reviewed Lake’s claim that improper signature verification amounted to election fraud and could account for a sufficient margin to swing the election in her favor.
During the recent a three-day trial, Lake’s attorneys argued that improper signature verification procedures impacted approximately 70,000 ballots.
Thompson rejected that argument, noting that Arizona law does not stipulate precisely how election officials are to verify ballot signatures.
“The Court finds that looking at signatures … require only a cursory examination,” Thompson said.
The judge added: “The question after the comparison is whether the signatures are consistent to the satisfaction of the recorder, or his designee. This, not the satisfaction of the Court, the satisfaction of a challenger, or the satisfaction of any other reviewing authority, is the determinative quality for whether signature verification occurred.”
The judge ruled. “It would be a violation of the constitutional separation of powers … for this Court, after the recorder has made a comparison to insert itself into the process and reweigh whether a signature is consistent or inconsistent.”
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