The outcome of the governor’s election between republican candidate Kari Lake and democratic candidate Katie Hobbs created a legal battle on the grounds of a rigged election.
Hobbs’ win by 17,000 votes led to accusations of voter fraud by Lake who tweeted she will be taking the case to the Arizona Supreme Court after her request was denied in the Court of Appeals.
President of NAU Young Democrats, Nico Valdez, said Lake’s decision to take the case to the Arizona Supreme Court is unethical.
“I believe that the Court of Appeals was right to deny Lake’s case for her relief because she was trying to dismantle Arizona’s election integrity and basically harm our democracy,” Valdez said.
Lake said Maricopa County ballot printers failed on Election Day and created inaccurate results that should be voided. The trial court dismissed her case which the Court of Appeals affirmed after rejecting Lake’s request.
To provide evidence of this occurring, Lake was required to show the malfunctions of the ballot printer as intentional and having impacted the election results. Maricopa County Judge Peter Thompson declared the proof Lake showed did not back up her claim.
In the ruling on Lake’s case, the Court of Appeals stated, “Lake presented no evidence that voters whose ballots were unreadable by on-site tabulators were not able to vote.”
Shane Mahkovtz is the events coordinator for Turning Point USA at NAU. Mahkovts said he agreed with Lake’s case and believed the Court of Appeals did not make the correct decision during the trial.
“Lake’s case was extremely strong, and should’ve gone much further than it has, because there was plenty of testimony of the machine not working and select voters being denied,” Mahkovtz said.
The election results declared Hobbs the winner, receiving 1,287,891 votes compared to Lake’s 1,270,774 votes. Maricopa County, Pima County and Coconino County all had a democratic majority, while Pinal County, Yavapai County and Mohave County were a republican majority.
The Superior Court of Arizona Maricopa County confirmed Hobbs's victory as governor. However, Lake said she won the Nov. 2022 election.
Valdez said the voter fraud accusations Lake has made stem from former President Donald Trump, his platform and propaganda he continued to spread when he lost in 2020.
“These accusations are becoming so common because people have been seeing evidence of such things with their own eyes,” Mahkovtz said.
A statement on the lawsuit dismissal from Hobbs’s Campaign Manager Nicole DeMont stated the voters have spoken and chose sanity instead of chaos.
Lake, former co-anchor of Fox 10 Phoenix for 22 years, left the show in March 2021. Since then, Lake became the republican nominee for the 2022 election for governor of Arizona.
Lake has a close relationship with former President Trump, and supports the idea that Trump won the 2020 Presidential election while denouncing many of President Joe Biden’s policies, such as his border guidelines.
“It is really sad to see this is what the political battle has come to with the questioning of our election integrity on a regular basis, but I do think this intense political climate with cases like Lake’s is going to continue because of how divided our government is at this point in time,” Valdez said.
Following the Court of Appeals ruling of dismissal, Lake tweeted she is not finished and will take the case to the Arizona Supreme Court.
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