Kari Lake’s Trial for Arizona Governor Lacks Day 1 Shockers: Republican Kari Lake, who finished second in the Arizona governor contest, has pledged to drop “bombshells” to prove she was the actual winner. On the opening day of the trial for her election challenge, however, on Wednesday, her attorneys raised minor issues that didn’t seem to demonstrate the widespread, willful malfeasance she would need to establish.
Lawyers representing the former television anchor are emphasizing issues with ballot printers at some polling stations in Maricopa County, where more than 60% of voters had cast their ballots. The former anchor lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs by more than 17,000 votes. The flawed printers created franchises too faint for polling on-site tabulators to read. In several areas, lines were held up due to uncertainty.
Since ballots impacted by the printers were transferred to more advanced counters at the headquarters of the elections department, county officials claim that everyone had a chance to vote and that all ballots were counted.
Additionally, Lake’s attorneys assert that a contractor who scans postal votes to get them ready for processing at an off-site location violated the chain of custody for the ballots. They claim that staff members at the facility returned their mail ballots to the pile rather than replacing them through the proper channels and that there was no paperwork to prove the transfer of votes. The county disputes the claim.
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Lake, who made the election lies of the former president of the United States the focal point of her campaign, was one of the loudest 2022 Republicans pushing them. While most other election skeptics around the nation renounced their positions after losing their contests in November, Lake has not.
As an alternative, she requests that the judge declare her the winner or order a new election in Maricopa County. She has a challenging time winning her challenge because she needs to demonstrate that there was misbehavior and that it was done to prevent her triumph and caused the wrong lady to be named the winner.
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer testified in court on Wednesday that he didn’t personally do anything to damage the election and that he wasn’t aware of anyone purposely meddling with the printers. When questioned about it, Richer responded, “Absolutely not.
One of Maricopa County’s election supervisors, Scott Jarrett, refuted Lake’s attorney’s assertion that printing issues on Election Day interfered with the election process. According to Jarrett, voters who encountered these issues still had a chance to cast a ballot, and if lines were lengthy at one location, voters might cast their ballots at less crowded places nearby. Voters had alternatives regarding how they might take part, according to Jarrett.
Clay Parikh, a witness for the Lake campaign who looked at votes, claimed that 14 of the ballots he looked at had a 19-inch image of the ballot printed on a 20-inch piece of paper, making it impossible for a tabulator to read them. Parikh claimed that those printer settings had been modified.
It couldn’t have happened by chance, Parikh remarked. “Those are adjustments to the settings.” Maricopa County’s attorney, Tom Liddy, hypothesized that the photographs in question may have been a little bit smaller due to a printer’s shrink-to-fit function being selected.
Liddy claimed that even if the tabulator rejected such a ballot, it could still be copied and read by the tabulator so that the choices might be tabulated. A declaration submitted in court by a representative of the company that scans ballots to prepare them for processing was cited by Heather Honey, another witness testifying on behalf of the Lake campaign regarding election procedures.
The employee stated that the contractor’s employees are permitted to bring their ballots and those of their family members and give them to the sorting department. The employee also claimed that county election workers did not include a crucial chain of custody document when delivering ballots from drop boxes on election night.
According to the contractor’s employee, workers gave the sorting department roughly 50 ballots. A different Maricopa County attorney claimed that aside from the claim made by the contractor employee, Honey had no other proof of votes being inserted into the system.
Honey answered, “That’s not answerable.” Furthermore, according to Honey, it is hard to determine how many votes were incorrectly added to or withdrawn from the system due to the county’s chain of custody violations. Eight of the ten claims Lake made in her lawsuit were previously rejected by Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson, who is currently hearing the case.
Among those claims was Lake’s claim that Hobbs and Richer, who served as the county recorder and secretary of state, engaged in censorship by flagging social media posts with inaccurate election information for potential removal by Twitter. Additionally, he denied her accusations of Republican prejudice and the legality of mail-in voting.
On January 2, Hobbs began serving as governor. Meanwhile, the court hearing scheduled for Thursday to present the results of recounts in the contests for state superintendent and a state legislative seat was moved to December 29. According to court records, Hobbs’ office stated that it did not yet receive the findings from every county.