UPDATE: Kari Lake provided this statement to The Arizona Sun Times Tuesday afternoon:
Today’s hearing regarding my lawsuit was telling. The Judge noted the volume of evidence my team compiled. The defendants’ team seemed desperate to sweep it under the rug.
I am thankful to Judge Peter Thompson and his team for the work they do and we are confident that given the opportunity, we will expose this election for the sham it was.
Arizona Judge Peter Thompson issued an order Tuesday for Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake and Governor-elect Katie Hobbs to appear in court regarding the election lawsuit filed by Lake.
“The Court has reviewed Plaintiffs’ Verified Statement of Election Contest filed December 9, 2022. Because this matter is an election challenge, the return hearing will be set on an accelerated basis,” according to Thompson.
Aside from Lake and Hobbs, Maricopa Count Stephen Richer, Board of Supervisor members Bill Gates, Clint Hickman, Jack Sellers, Thomas Galvin, and Steve Gallardo, and Director of Elections Scott Jarrett were also called to appear. The order stated that the appearance would be held over a video conference at 11 am on Tuesday. The hearing was not for arguing the case but for setting up the logistics of the case moving forward.
The Arizona Sun Times reached out to the Lake campaign for a comment but did not receive a response before publishing time.
Although the hearing was not able to start right at 11 due to technical errors and heavy online traffic, the livestream was able to begin before the noon hour.
I was just told this is the most popular meeting in America right now.
I can't even get INTO the court hearing meeting, nor can my attorneys.
MS Teams Meeting notification window says: "Meeting Lobby is Full Right now please try again in a few minutes." https://t.co/mSpS3ab0lU
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) December 13, 2022
Lake appeared in the virtual court alongside her representatives, although Hobbs and the other Maricopa County officials did not make an appearance, only having representatives in their place.
Andy Gaona, representing Hobbs, declared the intentions on behalf of the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office to dismiss this case by Thursday. Oral arguments are set for Monday, and an evidentiary hearing is set for December 21st and 22nd.
As reported by The Sun Times, Lake’s 70-page complaint contests the results of the 2022 General Election because voters were disenfranchised and suppressed due to “intentional” election day anomalies.
The complaint also alleges hundreds of thousands of vote-by-mail ballots deposited into drop boxes or returned through the United States Postal Service (USPS) and delivered to a third-party vendor, Runbeck Election Services, on election day. The issue was that chain of custody forms required to document the handling of these ballots were nonexistent, according to the complaint.
Lake ultimately calls for a forensic audit of the printer issues, an inspection of ballot and voter registration records, disqualification of illegal votes, and redoing the election.
“This lawsuit puts an end to any doubt that our elections, especially in Maricopa County, are rigged and massive reforms are needed if the public is ever to trust the results again.” Lake said in a statement shared with reporters, “Our sacred vote was trampled on. Every Arizonan should be furious, regardless of Party. Despite the desperate lies by the Fake News, my team has filed one of the strongest Election Lawsuits in history.”
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Kari Lake” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo “Katie Hobbs” by Katie Hobbs.