by WorldTribune Staff, December 20, 2022
The election challenge filed by Arizona Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake will proceed to trial after a judge refused to dismiss her case.
Lake announced the development via Twitter on Monday, saying “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.”
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson dismissed motions by the defendants to dismiss Lake’s lawsuit.
Judge Thompson allowed two of Lake’s ten claims to proceed, including “intentional misconduct,” meaning she must prove that printer malfunctions were intentional and affected the outcome of the contest. Lake must also demonstrate that faults in the ballot chain of custody were intentional and also impacted the final result.
Lake’s lawsuit alleges that rampant voting irregularities in Maricopa County prevented many would-be Lake voters from casting their ballots on election day.
A whistleblower revealed in Lake’s court filing that hundreds of thousands of ballots had no chain of custody documentation.
The trial will proceed this week with evidentiary hearings on Wednesday and Thursday.
Last week, judge Thompson approved Lake’s request to inspect randomly selected ballots from the midterm election.
“Our lawsuit isn’t based on conspiracy or wild speculation,” Lake‘s campaign tweeted. “We have laid out a very clear theory about statutory violations and a broken chain of custody. These ballots deserve close scrutiny and we’re delighted we have been granted it.”
Last week’s ruling allows a representative chosen by Lake’s team to inspect 50 random ballots cast on Election Day from six polling stations in Maricopa County.
The representative will also be able to inspect 50 random early ballots from six separate Maricopa County batches, as well as 50 random “spoiled” ballots from six stations in the county.
The inspector will not be allowed to copy or photograph the ballots during the examination that will take place on Dec. 20.
Hobbs reportedly won by about 17,000 votes or just over half a percentage point.
Legal representation for Hobbs attempt to persuade the court that Lake had failed to meet the legal threshold to challenge the election, which could include misconduct by elections officials, an opponent’s ineligibility, or illegal or mistakenly counted votes.
“Kari Lake lost the governor’s race to Katie Hobbs by 17,117 votes,” Hobbs’s lawyer Alexis Danneman wrote in a motion this week. “In the face of this unsurmountable margin, Lake brings a sprawling election contest, alleging everything from cyber hacking to Twitter mischief to intra-Republican-warfare – all in an effort to sow distrust in Arizona’s election results.”
.@KariLake going to trial is one of the biggest victories for election integrity we’ve had in decades.
Don’t let them down play this. It’s huge.
— Columnated Election Denier (@DominofromAZ) December 20, 2022