Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake prematurely declared victory in the Republican primary early Wednesday, despite the race being too close to call.
Lake declared victory while holding a 46%-44% lead against her opponent, Karrin Taylor Robson. She claimed election officials intentionally attempted to interfere in the election to prevent her victory.
“There is no path to victory for my opponent and we won this race, period,” she said to a cheering crowd. “But there’s a ton of problems with this system. You know what’s going on in Pinal County? They knew we were going to have record turnout because we aren’t going to take it anymore, and one hour into voting they ran out of ballots? What the hell’s going on?”
Over 20 precincts in Pinal County ran low or out of ballots, leading election officials to immediately print and distribute more to each affected polling place.
She vowed she will win the race when the votes are counted and promised to “reform our elections.”
“I wish our election officials had their act together, don’t we?” she continued. “I wish they could count votes, I wish they didn’t give us the felt tip pens that we know we don’t like. I wish it were all better, but we didn’t have the people with courage last session to get anything done. But I guarantee you, when we get into office, which we will, January of 2023, we are turning it all around and we’re fixing our election system for once and for all.” (RELATED: What To Look Out For In The AZ Primaries)
Lake’s official campaign Twitter account, Kari Lake War Room, declared her victory.
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) August 3, 2022
Lake’s communications director told the Daily Caller that she will win the race due to all of the ballots coming after the initial drop of early ballots being in her favor.
“Kari Lake will be declared the victor in this race by every news outlet in short order. Every single precinct update that came in after the initial drop of early ballots has favored Kari and we only expect her lead to grow. The only question left is just how much she will win by,” Kari Lake for Arizona communications director Ross Trumble said.
Lake ran a large portion of her platform on reforming elections and claiming the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from former President Donald Trump. She called the so-called “rigged election” the “biggest story out there,” and has delivered a warning that more elections will be stolen in the future, Ballotpedia reported.
She previously sparred with CNN senior national reporter Kyung Lah over election fraud in an October interview. Lake accused the reporter of pushing a narrative by denying the election was fraudulent.
“You’re buying into everything they say,” Lake told Lah. “This is the same people who did not want this forensic audit. I know what you guys are trying to do, you don’t give a damn about our elections. You’ve got a narrative and you’re trying to push it.”
“And what is that narrative?” Lah asked.
“The narrative is, it’s fraud, it’s fake. I will be damned if when I’m governor, we’re gonna have another election run this way,” Lake said.
Her claims contradict the findings of federal election security officials, who said the 2020 election was the “most secure in American history,” and there was no evidence of widespread election fraud after recounts.
Lake recently claimed she “detected some stealing going on” in the weeks prior to the election due to polling results showing the two candidates competing neck-to-neck. Taylor Robson called her claims “meritless” in a statement July 27.
“The more Kari Lake panics she is going to lose this #AZgov election, the more she attempts to sow doubt about its results,” she said in the tweet. “Her allegations are meritless, reckless and disqualifying in someone who seeks the will of the governed in leading our state.”