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Judge dismisses Kari Lake’s final claim challenging election results

May 23, 2023

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An Arizona judge has dismissed Kari Lake’s final case challenging the results of the 2022 midterm elections in her state. The Maricopa County Superior Court judge, appointed by a Republican, ruled that Lake failed to prove her claim of signature verification issues on mail ballots.

The judge determined Lake’s team did not present “clear and convincing evidence or a preponderance of evidence of misconduct” to prove that there were problems with the county’s application of signature verification procedures for early-voting ballots.

Lake, who had lost the race for Arizona governor to Democrat Katie Hobbs by some 17,000 votes, had filed a lawsuit seeking to be installed as governor or order a new election. The lawsuit followed an election night fraught with long lines and tabulation issues. While the case was dismissed, 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.

Lake’s argument centered on the alleged lack of verification for tens of thousands of signatures reviewed in seconds. However, the court determined that the law does not specify a required time frame for signature verification, deeming the timing argument irrelevant.

Lake did not contest whether voters’ signatures on ballot envelopes matched those in their voting records.

Early on, Lake’s team asserted there was intentional misconduct related to ballot printers at some places in Maricopa Country. In mid-February, the Arizona Court of Appeals rejected Lake’s assertions, concluding she presented no evidence that voters whose ballots were unreadable by tabulators at polling places were unable to vote.

The Arizona Supreme Court declined to hear most of Lake’s appeal in March, finding no evidence to support her claim of over 35,000 added ballots. Moreover, the court sanctioned Lake’s lawyers $2,000 for making false statements during the proceedings.

With the dismissal of the final election fraud claim, the court reaffirmed Katie Hobbs’ position as Arizona governor.

Lake, on the other hand, has been the subject of speculation as a potential running mate for Donald Trump in the 2024 election, although she has evaded direct confirmation. She is also openly considering a run for the U.S. Senate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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