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Political Litigation

Arizona Judge Dismantles Kari Lake’s Election Lawsuit

— December 20, 2022

In his ruling, the Maricopa County judge dismissed all but two counts from Lake’s lawsuit.

An Arizona judge has largely dismissed failed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s election-related lawsuit, finding that the complaint failed to meet the legal threshold necessary to challenge the results of a public election.

According to The Hill, Lake, a Republican, had asked the court to set aside Governor-elect Katie Hobbs’ victory.

In her lawsuit, Lake claimed that Maricopa County election officials had committed misconduct and tabulated hundreds of thousands of ineligible votes.

However, Lake—like many other failed Republican candidates seeking to overturn the results of electoral losses—was unable to provide any compelling evidence of widespread voter fraud or elections mismanagement.

On Monday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson dismissed 8 of the 10 counts listed in Lake’s lawsuit, finding that they did not meet the correct criteria needed to file an election-related challenge.

Thompson noted that, even if Lake’s unsubstantiated claims were true, the case could not proceed in its current form.

However, The Hill reports that Thompson will allow Lake to pursue her two remaining counts of misconduct. The two remaining counts broadly allege interference by Maricopa County election officials, culminating in widespread ballot printer failures and chain-of-custody violations.

Despite Thompson having effectively dismantled most of Lake’s lawsuit, the gubernatorial contender quickly took to Twitter to cast the ruling as a victory.

'Place Mail-in Ballots Here' Toilet Display Leads to Police Call
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

“Our Election Case is going to trial,” Lake wrote on Twitter. “Katie Hobbs attempt to have our case thrown out FAILED. She will have to take the stand & testify. Buckle up, America. This is far from over.”

Hobbs and Maricopa County have since insisted that the lawsuit is meritless and was filed in bad faith.

“If there’s anything rotten in Arizona, it is what this contest represents,” attorneys for Hobbs said in a Maricopa County hearing “For the past several years, our democracy and its basic guiding principles have been under sustained assault from candidates who just cannot or will not accept the fact that they lost. The judiciary has served as a bulwark against these efforts to undo our democratic system from within.”

Lake, notes The Hill, has asked that the court overturn or set aside the results of the 2022 gubernatorial election.

In her lawsuit, Lake suggested that Maricopa County officials had deliberately sabotaged election centers across the county, knowing that most Republican voters choose to cast their ballots in-person on Election Day.

Thompson has said that, in order for Lake to prevail, she must demonstrate that the county deliberately interfered in election processes to undermine her candidacy.

“Plaintiff must show at trial that the [Election Day] printer malfunctions were intentional, and directed to affect the results of the election, and that such actions did actually affect the outcome,” Thompson said on Monday.

Marc Elias, an attorney representing Hobbs, said that Lake will not be able to provide the intensive evidence of intentional fraud demanded by the court.

“Proving intentional wrongdoing and that it affected the outcome of the election will be impossible for Lake,” Elias wrote on Twitter.

Arizona law, notes CNN, requires that election-related lawsuits be resolved quickly. The court has scheduled a 2-day trial for January 2.


Arizona judge dismisses most of Kari Lake’s lawsuit challenging election results

Kari Lake will get to make case for election misconduct

Maricopa judge allows narrow part of Kari Lake’s Arizona election lawsuit to head to trial

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