Even though the Associated Press called Katie Hobbs the winner of the 2022 Arizona governor’s race more than a month ago, Republican Kari Lake is still trying to change the results. Even though she lost more than 17,000 votes, Lake has refused to give up. She accused Arizona election officials of wrongdoing and asked a court to rule that she won the governor’s race or to do the election again.
On Monday, a judge gave her permission to proceed with a two-day trial starting Wednesday. During the test, she will have the chance to show that there was a plan to hurt her. Even though it’s unlikely she will be able to do so, she will have another opportunity to voice her complaints in a way that could help her once-promising GOP political career.
Lake has said in court documents that she only lost because “hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots tainted the election in Maricopa County” and that “widespread tabulator or printer failures” were caused by wrongdoing on the part of election officials.
Currently, there is no evidence that Lake’s claims are valid. On Election Day, there were problems with printers all over Maricopa County. In about a third of the county’s polling places, ballots were printed with ink too light for vote-counting machines to read, so they were thrown out. No one knows how many votes were affected.
But county officials said that the problems didn’t stop anyone from voting, and a Washington Post study found that Republican ballots weren’t more likely to be affected by the issues. And the company that made the ballots for the county said it followed the law and its rules.
In her complaint to the Arizona Superior Court on December 9, Lake said, “This case is about restoring trust in the election process. Maricopa County election officials and Hobbs have broken that trust.”Maricopa County and Hobbs, who is about to become governor and is currently the Secretary of State, asked the court to throw out Lake’s complaint. They said it was full of “unwarranted speculation” and didn’t show “even one illegal vote, any wrong count of votes, or that [election officials] did anything wrong in running the election.”
Most of Lake’s claims were thrown out by Judge Peter Thompson on Monday, but she will still be tried on two counts. For one thing, she will have the chance to show that election officials messed with ballot-on-demand printers, which print out each voter’s ballot when they check in, to change the election’s outcome, which they did.
She will also have a chance to show that Maricopa County’s ballot contractor added votes from their family members to the total on purpose and in the wrong way and that this made a big difference in the outcome.
Lake called the decision a “massive legal win” in a tweet. “Christmas came early yesterday,” she told the crowd at a Tuesday event by a group of right-wing activists called Turning Point USA. “We have a chance to show the world that our elections are rigged, and we’re done with it.”
But proving the kind of wrongdoing she says happened is a different story, and Thompson could still fine her for making unfounded claims. But even if Lake doesn’t win her lawsuit, she has been able to use it to keep her name in the news all over the country. Even though election deniers lost everywhere in 2022, their movement is still going strong, and Lake is in charge.
Lake’s Legal Battle Could Be A Smart Move
The Arizona governor’s race made Lake a big name in the Republican Party. Even though the election is over, her attempts to change the results have kept her in the public eye.
She has stayed in the news, and at Turning Point USA’s America Fest convention, she was one of the main speakers, along with Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham and Trump people like Steve Bannon and Donald Trump Jr. And her fight in court could lead to the next step in her career, whether it’s in politics or something else.
She ran an unusual campaign. Instead of buying traditional ads, she made viral videos with controversial statements that made national news. For example, she seemed to make light of the violent attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
That made Trump like her and supported her, and other well-known Republicans also liked her. However, she was still a divisive figure within the party, and she may be even more so now that she lost a race that looked like it could have been won.
Ronald Reagan’s former chief speechwriter, Kenneth L. Khachigian, wrote in the Wall Street Journal before the election, “What makes Ms. Lake’s message different is that it is uncomplicated and fearless. It’s honest and doesn’t try to hide behind code words. Trump is said to see something of himself in Lake, and how they both dealt with losing their elections is now the same.
Even though she didn’t win the governorship, all the praise from Republicans and rumors that she could be Trump’s running mate point to a future in the GOP. By keeping her and Trump’s supporters interested, she puts herself in an excellent position to help Trump give Biden a hard time in 2024 and try to reach any other political goals she might have.
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