Six months after the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election, a judge in Maricopa County granted Republican nominee Kari Lake a new trial to present evidence regarding one of her seven challenges to Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs’ victory.
According to the Tucson-based NBC affiliate News4, the trial is scheduled for Wednesday and “will focus on Lake’s claim that there were serious flaws in the county’s signature verification process for mail-in ballots during the 2022 election.”
The outlet reports that an attorney for Hobbs has urged Judge Peter Thompson to dismiss the signature verification claim.
This month, the Arizona Supreme Court ordered “immediate” proceedings in her case challenging Maricopa County’s signature verification processes for the 2022 election, while denying the defendants’ attorneys fees and imposing one sanction.
According to Just the News, Lake lost the election by approximately 17,000 ballots to then-Secretary of State Hobbs. She has filed a lawsuit against Hobbs, Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, and Maricopa County election officials in an effort to invalidate the election results or be declared the victor.
In March, the Arizona Supreme Court reviewed Lake’s lawsuit, remanding one of her seven counts back to the trial court and permitting the contemplation of sanctions against her.
The remanded count related to Lake’s allegation that Maricopa County violated its signature verification policies during the 2022 election, according to the report.
“The signature verification allegation was remanded to the Maricopa County Superior Court, which was waiting on the high court to determine if she must pay sanctions to Hobbs and Fontes regarding her claim of 35,563 unaccounted early ballots being added to Maricopa County’s final tally,” the report said.
The state’s highest court granted defendants’ request for $2,000 in sanctions against Lake’s attorney for “stating ‘it is undisputed that 35,563 unaccounted for ballots were added to the total number of ballots’ and for repeating such false assertions in an additional filing in this proceeding,” the ruling stated.
However, the justices denied the defendants’ requests for attorney fees as sanctions. The court also ordered “that the trial court immediately conduct such proceedings as are necessary to resolve” the alleged violations of the signature verification process.
In the meantime, Maricopa County investigators released a report on irregularities observed during the November elections at the end of last month, after the county encountered severe ballot printing issues that garnered criticism from Republicans.
Maricopa, the most populous county in Arizona, has been scrutinized for alleged election irregularities and voter fraud in recent elections, particularly the 2020 presidential election and the 2022 gubernatorial election. On Election Day, the county’s ballot printers and tabulators once again encountered significant issues, prompting criticism from Republicans and legal action from Lake.
More on this story via Conservative Brief:
Former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor led the team of investigators who authored the report. According to their analysis, changes in the ballot length combined with the paperweight put a strain on some of the older printers’ abilities, the outlet said. CONTINUE READING…