An Arizona judge ruled against Republican Kari Lake’s claims that there was intentional misconduct on the part of Maricopa County Saturday after a two-day trial Saturday.
Judge Peter Thompson did not find clear and convincing evidence of widespread misconduct during the 2022 election. He said Lake’s witnesses lacked personal knowledge of intentional misconduct, the Washington Post reported. “The Court cannot accept speculation or conjecture in place of clear and convincing evidence,” Thompson stated.
Lake plans to appeal the ruling.
JUST IN: Judge Thompson rules against @KariLake, finding no intentional misconduct by @maricopacounty.@katiehobbs will be sworn in as governor of Arizona. pic.twitter.com/B8TIEkqIsd
— The AZ – abc15 – Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) December 24, 2022
Lake, who lost the Arizona gubernatorial election to Katie Hobbs by approximately 17,000 votes, accused officials in Maricopa County of intentionally sabotaging her chances at victory on Election Day by violating chain of custody procedures with ballots and causing widespread printer malfunctions throughout the county, the outlet reported.
In Maricopa County, 60 malfunctioning voting machines created issues at 25% of the polling locations on Election Day, enough to change the outcome, testified Richard Baris, who managed exit polling in Arizona for conservative firm Big Data Poll, according to The Hill.
Baris based his testimony on historical data and an exit poll question asking voters if they experienced issues while voting. However, he conceded on cross-examination that he could not say whether the issues people experienced were related to the printer malfunctions or if it caused them not to vote, The Hill reported.
Lake’s lawsuit claimed the chain of custody for ballots was broken at an off-site facility, stating that workers at the facility put their own mail ballots into the pile, rather than sending their ballots through normal channels, according to the Washington Post. Lake’s team also asserted there was missing paperwork documenting the transfer of ballots, the outlet reported, something county officials denied. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Katie Hobbs’ Office Threatened County Board With Arrest, Indictment If They Didn’t Certify Results)
In his ruling, Thompson acknowledged the “anger and frustration” of voters who felt they were disenfranchised but maintained that his mandate was to rule based on the law. “This Court’s duty is not solely to incline an ear to public outcry,” he stated, according to The Washington Post. “It is to subject Plaintiff’s claims and Defendants’ actions to the light of the courtroom and scrutiny of the law,” he explained.
He further noted that overturning the results of an election “has never been done in the history of the United States,” the outlet reported.
Another judge threw out a challenge to the Arizona Attorney General race brought by Republican Abraham Hamadeh, the Washington Post reported. Hamadeh, the court ruled Friday, didn’t prove there were errors in vote counting that saw him come 511 votes short of victory. A hearing is scheduled Thursday to present the results of a recount for that race and well as for a state legislative seat, the outlet reported.