Kari Lake loses election lawsuit to Hobbs, Maricopa County; vows to appeal
Judge rules insufficient evidence that misconduct altered outcome.
(The Center Square) -
The Maricopa County Superior Court reaffirmed Democrat Gov.-Elect Katie Hobbs’s gubernatorial election win in a Saturday ruling in which the court rejected Republican candidate Kari Lake’s challenge to the results of the contest.
On Twitter as the ruling was announced, Lake vowed to appeal the decision.
"My Election Case provided the world with evidence that proves our elections are run outside of the law," she argued. "This Judge did not rule in our favor. However, for the sake of restoring faith and honesty in our elections, I will appeal his ruling."
Lake had argued that the administration of the election in Maricopa County was beset with flaws including malfunctioning tabulator machines and lack of adherence to established election procedures.
The ruling, after a two-day trial that ended Friday, said that "the court DOES NOT find clear and convincing evidence" that "misconduct" altered the election results.
Earlier in the week, eight of the 10 counts were dismissed. The two counts that went to trial had to do with ballot-on-demand printer issues on Election Day and ballot chain of custody.
Witnesses, such as Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, testified. Richer was questioned by Lake’s attorney, Bryan Blehm, about the process and what he oversees.
In addition, a defense attorney aiming to rule out intent, asked if Richer or anyone he was aware of did anything intentionally to sabotage the outcome of the 2022 election.
"Absolutely not," Richer said.
Numerous other witnesses, ranging from conservative pollster Rich Baris, county elections director Scott Jarrett and an observer attorney for the Republican National Committee were called to the stand throughout the trial as well.
“Everyone was just freaked out,” Republican National Committee attorney Mark Sonnenklar said of Election Day mishaps while on the stand on Wednesday.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson tasked Lake’s team to prove that there were intentional actions that would have led to the results being impacted.
"This is about trust. This is about restoring people’s trust," Lake’s attorney Kurt Olsen said in his closing argument.
Meanwhile, the defense brushed off the claims made by Lake’s team, including attorney Abha Khanna.
"Katie Hobbs is the next governor. The people of Arizona said so," Khanna said in the defense’s closing arguments.
Maricopa County Attorney Thomas Liddy, who was on the side of the defense, said, "The burden has not been met."
He also called the messaging from the state Republican Party and the Lake campaign on voting "political malpractice."