Judge Dismisses Kari Lake's Final Election Claim

Long-running election challenge to Arizona's gubernatorial race is over
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 23, 2023 9:50 AM CDT
Judge Dismisses Kari Lake's Final Election Claim
Kari Lake, the Republican candidate who lost the Arizona governor's race to Democrat Katie Hobbs, speaks to supporters in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Nov. 8.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

A judge on Monday dismissed the only remaining legal claim in Republican Kari Lake's challenge of her loss in last year's race for Arizona governor, reports the AP, affirming the election of Democrat Katie Hobbs. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter A. Thompson said Lake failed to prove her claim that Maricopa County didn't verify signatures on mail ballots as required by law. Lake was among the most vocal of last year's Republican candidates promoting former President Trump's election lies, which she made the centerpiece of her campaign. She has built a loyal following among Trump supporters and is openly considering a run for the US Senate seat now held by Kyrsten Sinema, an independent and former Democrat. Lake is also often mentioned as a potential vice presidential pick for Trump.

While most other election deniers around the country conceded in November, Lake did not. She has touted her legal battle in fundraising appeals and speeches around the country. Lake didn't immediately comment on the ruling. She filed suit after losing to Hobbs by about 17,000 votes, asking the courts to install her as governor or order a new election. Thompson dismissed the case, but the Arizona Supreme Court revived a claim that challenges how signature verification procedures were used on early ballots in Maricopa County, home to more than 60% of the state's voters. County officials defended signature verification efforts and said they had nothing to hide. Lake's signature claim was the subject of a three-day trial. Her lawyers argued that screeners who found inconsistencies in signatures ran them up the chain of command, where they were neglected.

Lake didn't contest whether voters' signatures on ballot envelopes matched those in their voting records. She faced a high bar in proving not only her allegation over signature verification efforts but also that it affected the outcome of her race. Thompson, who was appointed to the bench by former Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, said she didn't meet that high bar. "The evidence the Court received does not support Plaintiff's remaining claim," he wrote. Earlier this month, the court sanctioned Lake's lawyers $2,000 for making false statements when saying that more than 35,000 ballots had been improperly added to the total count.

(More Kari Lake stories.)

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