An Arizona judge has dismissed most of Kari Lake’s election lawsuit over the victory of her opponent, Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs (D), after Lake was under investigation for weeks over alleged voter fraud.
Lake had asked a judge to certify Hobbs’ victory in 10 counties, alleging that election officials in Maricopa County – which includes most of the state’s population – committed a crime and tabulated hundreds of thousands of illegal votes.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson on Monday evening dismissed eight of the 10 counts, ruling that they did not fall under the proper criteria for election challenges under Arizona law, although true, so they did not merit further consideration.
But Thompson allowed the trial to go forward on two other counts that he said, if proven, could be challenged under the governing election statute: alleged willful obstruction of election officials affecting Maricopa County ballot printers and chain of custody violations.
Lake, a former ally of President Trump who promoted false voter fraud in the 2020 election and refused to commit to accepting this year’s results before election day, must now prove those two allegations in court for later this week.
In the meantime, Lake railed against Maricopa County officials and Hobbs, calling the election “botched” and “false,” and vowed to appeal his case to the Supreme Court if necessary.
Both Maricopa County and Hobbs, in both his capacity as secretary of state and governor, are suing the lake for controversy and have asked a judge to dismiss all 10 counts.
Hobbs and the county argued for a full dismissal that many of the lake’s allegations were based on the process well before the last month of the election, saying those allegations should be brought before Election Day.
They also argue that the lake war’s arguments are futile, and would fail on the merits in court.
“If anything is rotten in Arizona, it represents a struggle,” Hobbs, the lawyer, said at the hearing. “For the past several years, our democracy and its fundamental principles have been under attack from candidates who simply cannot or will not take back what they have lost. The judiciary has been a bulwark against these attempts to dissolve our democratic system from within.
Maricopa County, which spans the Phoenix area, has become the epicenter of voter disenfranchisement allegations after several days of the county’s election centers’ voter technology expert printers.
Election officials insisted that affected voters could use one of several backup options, but Lake, noting that Election Day voters in Arizona favored Republicans, asserted that election officials had deliberately sabotaged their victory and that their backup voter options had yet to be released.
“The plaintiff must show in court that” [Election Day] “The printer’s technology was intentional, and he was directing it to affect the outcome of the election, and that such acts did in fact affect the outcome,” the judge said of the first count in Monday’s order.
As for the rest of the count, Lake claims that more than 300,000 Maricopa County voters did not have their proper chain of custody papers.
The county disputes their claims, arguing that Lake does not understand the various forms of paperwork and that Maricopa has all the necessary documents on file.
Campaign Lake in the court thread also promoted a series of other allegations dismissed by the judge, including that some electronic cards may have been recorded with the signatures of the couple.
Lake also investigated the Arizona secretary of state’s office, which leads Hobbs, to several tweets containing false information about the Arizona election. Twitter eventually decided to remove those tweets.
“The case is also about a covert censorship operation by the government that would make Orwell blush,” Lake’s attorney said at Monday’s hearing, referring to George Orwell, who wrote the dystopian novel “1984.”
Lake is one of many GOP nominees to challenge the election results.
The judges dismissed separate state election contests filed by a state senator who had run against Governor Hobbs, and another filed by Arizona secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem (R), who challenged the victory of a Democratic rival.
Arizona Republican attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh, who is trailing his Democratic opponent by an even 511 votes out of 2.5 million voters in early registration, also contested the results of his race.
A state judge in Arizona’s Mohave County similarly heard arguments on a motion to dismiss in that case on Monday, but Hamadeh’s fight, which has been joined by the Republican National Committee, remains ongoing.