Arizona governor’s candidate Kari Lake narrowly beat the filing deadline on Friday to submit her campaign’s lawsuit arguing that Maricopa County conducted an unfair and illegitimate election.
Maricopa County was plagued by widespread ballot tabulation errors on Election Day, which disproportionately affected Republican voters that were more likely to turn out and vote for Kari Lake on November 8, the lawsuit contends.
Lake made a simple argument about the election on Twitter:
If the process was illegitimate then so are the results. Stay tuned, folks.
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) December 10, 2022
“LFG,” she wrote alongside an image of the filed lawsuit.
“If the process was illegitimate, then so are the results,” she added. “Stay tuned, folks.”
Lake filed the lawsuit only minutes ahead of the Friday deadline, as reported by ABC News’ Garrett Archer.
The lawsuit itself, 70 pages long and supplying a litany of complaints ranging from voting machine malfunction, tabulator errors, estimated disenfranchised voters due to longer lines, chain-of-custody errors pertaining to hundreds of thousands of mail-in votes, mishandling of “Door 3” ballots, signature verification errors, Maricopa County’s alleged infringement of voters’ free speech about the election, and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ role certifying her own election to Governor-Elect of Arizona.
The heart of the lawsuit is that “Thousands of voters, disproportionately Republican, gave up voting due to the long wait lines or simply avoided the polls after seeing the chaos reported in the news.”
“The expert evidence [provided by pollster Richard Baris] shows conservatively that at least between 15,603 and 29,257 Republican voters were disenfranchised from voting as a direct consequence of the voting machine failures in Maricopa,” the lawsuit stated. This would hypothetically fall into the range necessary to overturn the election results.
“The official election results certified by Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in the marquee race at the top of the ballot, a contest for the governorship between Hobbs herself and Kari Lake, showed a difference in votes between the two candidates of approximately 0.67% (17,117 votes out of about 2,559,485 cast),” the lawsuit points out. “The separation of votes between Hobbs and Lake is far narrower than the number of presumptively illegal and illegally cast ballots in Arizona.”
The “illegally cast ballots,” as the lawsuit argues, refers to those lacking a clear chain-of-custody, which is a felony offense in Arizona elections.
“Testimony by whistleblowers and witnesses with first-hand knowledge shows that Maricopa County officials violated Arizona chain of custody laws for hundreds of thousands of these mail-in ballots,” the suit states. “These chain of custody laws are a critical deterrent to keep illegal mail-in votes from infecting the election. With no chain of custody, there is no way to tell whether over 300,000 ballots cast in Maricopa County are legal ballots.”
“Maricopa County also permitted the counting of tens of thousands of mail-in and drop box ballots that did not satisfy signature verification requirements,” the lawsuit continued.
The lawsuit can be read in full below:
Kari Lake’s legal team is seeking the following relief in the civil case in Maricopa County’s Superior Court:
a. An opportunity to inspect Maricopa County ballots from the 2022 general election, including ballot signature envelopes and corresponding signatures on file with Maricopa County, prior to trial;
b. A root cause analysis and forensic examination into the causes and extent of the printer-tabulation problems encountered on election day;
c. Trial of all disputed factual issues;
d. An order striking all signatures on file with Maricopa County that are not the “registration record” pursuant to A.R.S. S. I 6-550 (A);
e. An order striking any invalid ballots or types of ballots on an absolute or prorated basis;
f. An order setting aside the certified result of the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election and declaring that Kari Lake is the winner of the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election, pursuant to A.R.S. S. 16-676;
g. In the alternative, an order vacating the certified results of the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election, pursuant to A.R.S. S. 16-676 or 42 U.S.C. S. 1983, and an injunction requiring that Maricopa County re-conduct the gubernatorial election in conformance with all applicable law and excluding all improper votes, under the direction of a special master;
h. Recusal of defendants Hobbs and Richer from further participation in matters involving the 2022 general election, including any new election and the review of any issues related to the 2022 general election and any new election.
Kari Lake is now the third Arizona statewide candidate to contest the 2022 midterm election results, joining Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem and Arizona Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh.
"*" indicates required fields
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.