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Kari Lake loses bid to overturn election results in Arizona

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An Arizona judge on Saturday rejected the losing Kari Lake’s try The Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, after a two-day trial to overturn the results of her November election, polls showed speculation of systemic malfeasance but failed to prove it. later sentenced against her.

The findings are in line with recent rulings against unsuccessful candidates for Attorney General and Secretary of State, Abe Hamade and Mark Finchem. Taken together, these rulings demonstrate that Arizona’s judiciary is riddled with distrust of the democratic process, refusing to challenge election results and affirming the will of voters.

A former TV news anchor and supporter of former President Donald Trump, Lake lost the Nov. 8 election by more than 17,000 votes. Even after the results were certified on December 5, she still refused to concede after making her election denials the centerpiece of her campaign. more than half of state voters.

Lake’s complaint to be declared the winner centered on problems with the Maricopa County printers.These problems required some Voters wait in line, move to another polling place, or deposit their ballots in a secure drawer to be counted at a central location. County officials say the problem was caused by an insufficient heat setting on the printer. They also admitted at trial that their votes were denied due to “shrink-to-fit” setups at some polling stations, all of which were duplicated and ultimately counted. Deep analysis is still underway, they testified.

On election day, a judge found that no mechanical issues were preventing the vote. But in a 69-page filing, Lake’s attorneys amassed unproven allegations and anecdotal accounts, alleging that “hundreds of thousands of illegal votes influenced the Maricopa County election.” did.

The allegations go far beyond ballot control, not only evidence from the 2020 election, but conspiratorial allegations about efforts to combat election misinformation, which has been deemed an “unconstitutional government censorship operation.” contained.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter A. Thompson, who heard Lake’s case, previously dismissed most of her claims, but allowed two to proceed. Election Day was intentional.

In Saturday’s 10-page ruling, Thompson said the court “acknowledges the anger and frustration of voters” who were inconvenienced by technical issues on Election Day.

“But the duty of this court is not only to listen to public outcry,” he wrote. ”

Thompson said there was no compelling evidence that the printer problem in Maricopa County was intentional or that ballots were mishandled in a way that would affect the outcome of the election. I concluded. In his ruling, he noted that Maricopa County attorneys had suggested pursuing sanctions against Lake’s team, and said such a motion must be filed by Monday morning.

Lake wrote on Twitter that he would appeal the ruling.

Hobbes’ attorney asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit, saying Lake’s lawsuit represented “corruption in Arizona.”

“Over the past few years, our democracy and its fundamental tenets have come under sustained attack from candidates who are unable or unwilling to accept the fact that they have lost,” the lawyer said. said Abha Khanna of “The judiciary has served as a bulwark against these efforts to dismantle our democratic system from within.

In Thursday’s closing statement, Khanna said: The reason she lost wasn’t because of a printer error, or missing paperwork, or because her election was rigged against her, or because she didn’t have enough opportunities to prove her case in court. ”

“Kali Lake lost the election because she ended up getting fewer votes than Katie Hobbs,” added Khanna.

Lake was taken to court by Kurt Olsen, a Washington-based attorney involved in former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election. He joined her legal team with her Bryan Blehm, the attorney who represented cybersecurity firm Cyber ​​Ninjas in Maricopa County’s haphazard audit of her 2020 election results.

Olsen claimed in his closing statement, “The evidence shows Kari Lake won this race.”

However, he quickly retracted, saying, “At the very least, I have presented hard evidence that the outcome of this election is uncertain.”

Olsen relied heavily on the testimony of conservative author and pollster Rich Baris, known on Twitter by the name “The People’s Pundit.” Baris said in court that his interviews with 813 residents of Maricopa County proved that a printer problem was the cause of Lake’s loss. Defense witness Kenneth Meyer, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, called the theory “pure speculation.”

Thompson struggled to get Lake’s lawyers to argue, dealing with technical errors and misrepresentation of various evidence. On Wednesday, he instructed one of her attorneys to avoid objections by opposing attorneys, saying, “I think you’re asking for witnesses to the best of their knowledge.” . At another point, he said of the plaintiff’s defense, “I’m going to give him some leeway.”

Lake’s attorneys have spoken to numerous witnesses, including Alabama-based IT professional Clay Palik, who recently attended MyPillow founder Mike Lindell’s “Moments of Truth” summit in Springfield, Missouri. called. Her Heather Honey of Haystack Investigations, a Pennsylvania firm nominated by the Arizona Senate for a partisan audit of her 2020 election. And she said she observed a chaotic situation on Election Day when she supported her technical workers.

Parikh argued that the problem with the way the ballots were printed was unintentional, but on cross-examination he found no defective copies of the ballots and that they were all ultimately counted. Admitted. Honey argued that inadequate ballot monitoring allowed contractors to insert illegal ballots into the system, but whether there was evidence that illegal ballots were actually inserted. I didn’t mention about

Maricopa County election officials and county registrar testified. Scott Jarrett, the county’s co-director of elections, defended Runbeck Election Services as “best in class.”

Lake used social media to promote the lawsuit, asking supporters to donate to a nonprofit called the Save Arizona Fund, which was set up on December 5. A person close to her discussed her inner details on condition of her anonymity.

Meanwhile, Lake recently escalated her rhetoric in front of a crowd gathered in Phoenix for a conference hosted by the pro-Trump youth group Turning Point USA, calling for the imprisonment of Maricopa County officials. rice field.

“These people are crooks,” she said. “They need to be locked up.”

In response to Saturday’s ruling, Hobbes’s election director, Nicole DeMont, said: “We are pleased that the court upheld the will of the voters. Incoming Governor Hobbs continues to prepare to take office as governor of Arizona. The next governor.”

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