Attorneys for the state of Arizona stated on Thursday that Republican Kari Lake did not provide evidence to support her accusations of widespread, purposeful misbehavior on Election Day during the two-day trial she held challenging her loss to Democrat Katie Hobbs in the Arizona governor’s race.
Abha Khanna, a lawyer for Hobbs (who won the race by a margin of just over 17,000 votes), argued that Lake failed to prove that printer issues at Maricopa County polling stations were deliberate attempts to influence the outcome of the election. Khanna said Thursday that Lake’s assertions were founded on hearsay, supposition, and theatrics during the trial’s closing statements. Instead, we were given a story with several gaps and dangling strands. The truth is, her account was wholly made up,” Khanna said.
According to one of Lake’s lawyers, Kurt Olsen, Maricopa County authorities tried to minimize the impact of the printing issues. Trust and honor are at stake here,” Olsen added. Getting people to trust you again is the primary goal. Not a single viewer isn’t currently shaking their head in disbelief. The former Republican governor and appointee of the Superior Court Peter Thompson, Jan Brewer, did not provide a timeline for when he would make a decision.
To win her appeal, Lake will need to prove that misbehavior occurred and that it was intended to deny her victory and resulted in the wrong lady being named the winner. Lake said outside the courthouse after the proceedings were over that her lawyers had made a strong case. Lake declared, “Without a reasonable doubt, we have established that malevolent intent was responsible for disruption of such magnitude to alter the election’s final results.”
When called upon, we testified as witnesses with extensive experience. In-house specialists were made available by us. To try to save face, the opposing side called in activists. They finally came clean about the ballot issues. More than 60% of Arizona voters live in Maricopa County, where her lawyers focused their attention after discovering problems with ballot printers at many polling locations. Due to the malfunctioning printers, the ballots were too faint for the onsite tabulators to read. As a result of the chaos, lines backed up in specific locations.
County officials maintain that all eligible voters had an opportunity to cast a ballot and that all votes were tallied, including those that were delayed due to printer problems and were later transferred to more advanced counters at the elections department headquarters.
The lawyers representing Lake further assert that the chain of custody for ballots was disrupted at a remote location where a contractor scanned postal votes before processing. The county rejects that accusation.
Lake was one of the most outspoken Republicans this year in advocating for the electoral lies of former President Donald Trump. Not even after losing his election in November, like most of the other election doubters across the country, has Lake conceded. Instead, she requests a re-vote in Maricopa County or a declaration that she is the winner.
Her lawyers cited an expert witness who looked over ballots for her campaign and found 14 instances where the ballot picture was too small for the paper size, making it impossible for a tabulator to see the votes. However, elections officials disagree with the witness’s assertion that someone altered the printer settings.
County authorities claim a tech worker looking for Election Day solutions accidentally chose the printer’s shrink-to-fit mode, resulting in slightly shrunken ballot images. They estimate that 1,200 ballots had to be reproduced so that a tabulator could read them once they enabled the feature. Officials have confirmed that these votes have been tabulated. Richard Baris, an Arizona exit pollster and Lake’s final witness testified that technological difficulties at polling stations disenfranchised enough voters to swing the election in Lake’s favor.
According to Baris, between 25,000 and 40,000 eligible voters didn’t cast ballots due to issues on Election Day, and those who did were more likely to favor Lake. According to Baris, his estimate was primarily driven by the number of respondents who started but did not complete his exit survey.
The University of Wisconsin–Madison political science professor Kenneth Mayer, who testified on behalf of election officials, called Baris’ claim “a sequence of assumptions and guesswork.” Eight of Lake’s ten allegations in her complaint had already been dismissed by Thompson.
Among these was Lake’s claim that Secretary of State Hobbs and Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer engaged in censorship by reporting tweets containing election-related falsehoods to Twitter to get them removed. He also shot down her accusations that Republicans had been mistreated and that mail-in ballots were illegal.
On January 2, Hobbs will become the new governor of Texas. Meanwhile, Republican Abraham Hamadeh is challenging his loss to Democrat Kris Mayes in Arizona’s attorney general race, and his trial is set to begin on Friday. Hamadeh, who came up short by a margin of 511 votes, claims in his case that printing flaws in Maricopa County resulted in disenfranchised voters.
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