The Arizona Court of Appeals dismissed Kari Lake’s appeal of her election lawsuit on Thursday, stating that voters were not disenfranchised. Lake said she intends to appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court, as her opponents and Maricopa County officials praised the dismissal. Maricopa County election officials have frequently criticized Lake, causing some to doubt their impartiality. The Maricopa County Supervisors are responsible for overseeing elections on Election Day, while Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer has oversight of early balloting.
Clint Hickman, chair of the Maricopa County Supervisors, issued a statement on Thursday referring to Lake’s legal arguments as “questionable mathematics.” He said, “When a candidate for office asks a court to throw out valid votes, you have to wonder how committed to election integrity they really are.” He said Lake has been rejected “at the polls, when Arizona voters rejected her bid to be governor…”
As Republican Kari Lake appeals a legal defeat in her lawsuit challenging certification of her narrow loss in Arizona’s Nov. 8 gubernatorial election, she is alleging that ballot chain-of-custody issues occurred at Runbeck Election Services, a company that municipalities across the country use for outsourcing election operations.
Lake is appealing a ruling against her last month in her suit against former Secretary of State and current Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and Maricopa County election officials demanding the election result be set aside due to alleged failures and misconduct by the county. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson found that Lake failed to meet a legal standard of clear and convincing evidence that intentional misconduct changed the outcome of the election.
In her appeal, which challenges the legal standard applied by the trial court, Lake alleges that Maricopa County’s “massive violations of law and maladministration” included violating Arizona law’s chain-of-custody requirements by not having Election Day dropbox ballots counted at Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC) before going to Runbeck.
An Arizona judge heard oral arguments Monday in the case to dismiss 2022 GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s election lawsuit but declined to make a decision.
Superior Court Judge of Maricopa County Peter Thompson is presiding over the case in which Lake is challenging the results of her gubernatorial bid against Governor-elect and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. In addition to Hobbs, the other defendants in the case are Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, the county Board of Supervisors, and county Director of Elections Scott Jarrett.
Arizonans for Voter ID filed a complaint Wednesday with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich against Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, alleging that he violated election law by posting a letter on his county website opposing their Proposition 309, which improves voter ID requirements. The complaint alleges violations of A.R.S. 11-410(A) and A.R.S. 16-192(A), which prohibit the use of government resources to influence an election.
Attorney Tim La Sota said in the letter, “I write today to bring to your attention apparent violations of two separate statutes that prohibit the use of public funds to influence an election. To wit, the violations involve a campaign that County Recorder Stephen Richer is waging against Proposition 309, which improves voter identification requirements. Unfortunately, Mr. Richer is using taxpayer money to wage this campaign.” La Sota went on, “This website is not at Mr. Richer’s disposal to use as a campaign website for his favored political causes.”
Election officials around the country, including the Maricopa County Recorder, saw a flurry of public records requests at the end of August asking for the “cast vote record” (CVR) from the 2020 presidential election. The requests came after My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, who is actively investigating election discrepancies in 2020, urged attendees at his Moment of Truth Summit in August to request them. The CVR reveals the type of ballot used by each voter and how they cast their votes, without exposing their identity.
Walter C. Daugherity, who has a background in computers and engineering, two degrees from Harvard University, and experience in artificial intelligence and quantum computing, submitted a declaration about his analysis of CVRs in a lawsuit filed by Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Trump-endorsed candidate for State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State. Their complaint aims to stop the use of electronic voting machine readers in the Nov. 8 election.
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer shared Monday that voters should be ready for Democrats to initially lead on the night of November 8th as early votes are counted first.
“The results released at 8:00 PM on Election Night will be comprised of early ballots we receive by the weekend before Election Day,” tweeted Richer. “First moral of the story: In Arizona, Initial results will likely be much bluer than eventual final results. Second moral: if you want your ballot to be part of results released AT 8:00 PM on Election Night, return it before the weekend before Election Day.”
After an Arizona primary election last week full of anomalies, the Executive Guidance Committee of the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) issued a resolution on August 4 censuring Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican. The resolution cited problems that arose during the election and Richer’s previous denials that election fraud occurred in the 2020 presidential election.
Member-at-large Brian Ference drafted the resolution, which passed 13-11 with two abstentions. It cited “irregularities” in the primary election, including “reports of printers and scanners not working,” “Pentel felt-tip pen smearing and not drying,” and “late counting and delayed results.”
Envelopes containing ballots sent to voters in Maricopa County last week contained a small square with clear plastic on the top left side revealing part of the ballot. The political party of the ballot can clearly be seen in the window, and in some cases, it appears individuals’ voter registration numbers as well. Concerns have been raised that renegade postal workers or election workers might throw Republican ballots out before they reach voters.
State Rep. Jacqueline Parker (R-Mesa) tweeted, “The post office doesn’t need to know this information. The Recorder’s office is being awfully cavalier & open with personal information in a time when people already don’t trust the mail or AZ’s voting systems.”
Maricopa County officials held a press conference and issued a response Wednesday to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s first Interim Report on the 2020 Maricopa County independent ballot audit, prompting a sharp reaction from Brnovich. He said in a letter to supporters, “[T]he Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and County Recorder continue to throw stones at Attorney General Brnovich instead of working to address the serious issues identified in the interim report.” Jen Wright, head of his Elections Integrity Unit, who has lengthy experience investigating voter fraud for the Arizona Republican Party, sent a response back to their attorney with “serious concerns.”
Maricopa County officials have issued a 93-page response to the findings of the independent Maricopa County ballot audit of the 2020 presidential election, which was ordered by the Arizona Senate. Presented during a meeting of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 5, the officials claimed there were fewer than 100 questionable ballots out of the 2.1 million cast.
Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward watched a portion of the meeting and expressed skepticism to The Arizona Sun Times, “The part that I’ve seen so far was a group of related good ole boys attempting to convince people that they ran a perfect election,” she said. “They want Americans to believe them over what we saw with our own eyes. Arizonans were totally justified in demanding an audit of the 2020 election — and we should actually audit everything so we can restore voter confidence that our elections have integrity.”