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More than 25,000 ballots added in Maricopa County vote total after election: Kari Lake lawsuit

"Twenty-five thousand additional ballots and early voting ballots were discovered two days after Election Day, and we don't know where they came from," said the Arizona 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee.

Published: December 12, 2022 10:06pm

Updated: December 12, 2022 11:36pm

More than 25,000 ballots were added to Maricopa County's vote total following Election Day, Arizona 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake alleges in her lawsuit against Governor-elect and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

Lake filed her lawsuit against Hobbs, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, and Maricopa County Director of Elections Scott Jarrett on Friday, alleging that the "number of illegal votes cast in Arizona's general election ... far exceeds the 17,117 vote margin" between Lake and Hobbs.

In her legal filing, Lake alleges that witness testimony and other evidence "show hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots infected the election in Maricopa County" and that "thousands of Republican voters were disenfranchised as a result of Maricopa County election officials' misconduct in connection with the widespread tabulator or printer failures at 59% of the 223 vote centers" in the county.

The complaint further alleges a chain of custody failures, including "more than 25,000 additional ballots" being "found" by Maricopa County two days after Election Day.

Lake's lawsuit contends that "properly followed chain of custody procedures would require Maricopa County election officials to know the exact number of ballots submitted by the day after" Election Day.

"Twenty-five thousand additional ballots and early voting ballots were discovered two days after Election Day and we don't know where they came from," Lake told the "Just the News, No Noise" TV show on Monday. "These are mysterious 25,000 ballots that just showed up. It shows the whole system has serious problems."

The Maricopa County Recorder announced on Nov. 9 that there were "275,000+ ballots" that "had been sorted for scanning and signature verification" after the vote centers were closed, according to the complaint, but the next day, a Maricopa County election official contacted the county election contractor Runbeck, which reported having scanned 298,000 ballots.

"This unexplained increase in EV ballots was also reflected on the Department of State website between November 9 and November 10," according to the suit. Between the number of counted and uncounted ballots, there was a total of 1,544,513 ballots on Nov. 9, according to Maricopa County. Two days later, the total was 1,565,554 ballots.

"We believe that up to 135,000 ballots were pushed through that should not have been pushed through," Lake told "Just the News, No Noise" Monday. "We're asking a judge to let us take a look at all of the envelopes and compare signatures, so that we can find out for sure how many bad, fraudulent ballots got through in that way, of basically cheating or breaking the rules."

Tweeting in response on Friday, Hobbs called the lawsuit "Lake's latest desperate attempt to undermine our democracy and throw out the will of the voters."

She added: "Baseless lawsuits don't vote. Arizonans do."

Maricopa County's official Twitter account also released a statement on the lawsuits filed Friday. "The court system is the proper place for campaigns challenging the results to make their case," said the county. "Maricopa County respects the election contest process and looks forward to sharing facts about the administration of the 2022 General Election and our work to ensure every legal voter had an opportunity to cast their ballot."

Richer tweeted his response to the lawsuit Friday, saying, "It's not dispositive, but you can often surmise a lot about a lawsuit based on the attorney(s)..."


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