Judge Rejects Challenge to Kari Lake's Election Loss

Ruling says Arizona court heard no clear evidence, only speculation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 20, 2022 3:30 AM CST
Updated Dec 24, 2022 2:05 PM CST
Kari Lake Will Be Allowed to Make Her Case
Kari Lake, Arizona Republican candidate for governor, speaks to supporters at the Republican watch party in Scottsdale, Ariz., Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
UPDATE Dec 24, 2022 2:05 PM CST

An Arizona judge on Saturday threw out Republican Kari Lake's lawsuit challenging her loss in the state's election for governor. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson said in his ruling that the witnesses Lake presented had no firsthand knowledge of intentional misconduct by election officials, which Lake contended took place and affected the outcome, and that he saw no proof of misdeeds, the AP reports. "The Court cannot accept speculation or conjecture in place of clear and convincing evidence," wrote Thompson, who was appointed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. Democrat Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, takes office Jan. 2.

Dec 20, 2022 3:30 AM CST

A judge on Monday dismissed part of a lawsuit filed by Kari Lake, the defeated Republican candidate for Arizona governor, but will allow her to call witnesses in an attempt to prove that she lost because of misconduct by election officials, the AP reports. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson dismissed eight of the 10 claims Lake raised in her lawsuit, which asks the judge to either declare her the winner or hold a re-vote in the county. Thompson took no position on the merits of Lake's two surviving claims, but he wrote that the law allows her to make her case.

Lake lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs by just over 17,000 votes out of 2.6 million cast. She will attempt to prove in a two-day hearing scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday that ballot printers malfunctioned in Maricopa County because of intentional interference by election officials and that ballots were improperly added at a county contractor that handles returned mail ballots. A representative for Lake will be allowed to examine 150 ballots on Tuesday. “Buckle up, America. This is far from over,” Lake wrote on Twitter after the ruling. She faces the extremely high bar of proving not only that misconduct occurred but that it affected the outcome of her race.

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Thompson will make a final decision, which will likely be appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court. The judge dismissed a variety of constitutional claims, including Lake's allegation that Hobbs, in her capacity as secretary of state, and Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer engaged in censorship by flagging social media posts with election misinformation for possible removal by Twitter. Meanwhile, a judge in conservative Mohave County said he would rule Tuesday on a separate election challenge filed by Abraham Hamadeh, the Republican candidate for attorney general who lost by 511 votes to Democrat Kris Mayes.

(More Kari Lake stories.)

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