Kari Lake Seeks Further Review by AZ Supreme Court Over Ballots

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

The Arizona Supreme Court declined last month to hear parts of Republican Kari Lake’s appeal over the gubernatorial race from November’s midterms. However, the state’s highest court did revive a claim that was dismissed by a trial court regarding the signature verification process in Maricopa County.

In a newly filed briefing, Lake’s team doubled down at the state Supreme Court on her claim that there are 35,563 ballots that were unaccounted for and allegedly showed up in Maricopa County’s final total in November’s midterm election.

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According to the new filing, Hobbs has never disputed the missing 35,563 ballots:

“Petitioner Kari Lake respectfully opposes Respondents’ request for sanctions for Lake’s statement in her Petition that the Court of Appeals should have considered “the undisputed fact that 35,563 unaccounted-for ballots were added to the total of ballots at a third-party processing facility.”

The record indisputably reflects at least 35,563 Election Day early ballots, for which there is no record of delivery to Runbeck, were added at Runbeck, and that this issue was properly raised below prior to Lake filing her Petition for Review.

Not only should the Respondents’ request for sanctions be denied, but Lake respectfully requests leave of the Court to treat this response as a motion for reconsideration of the Court’s denial of review on this chain-of-custody issue.


Although Maricopa did not move for sanctions, the other respondents seek sanctions and fees pursuant to A.R.S. §12-349 and ARCAP 25. As relevant here, both provisions condition sanctions and fees on appeals brought without substantial justification or primarily for delay or harassment.

Here, the respondents seeking sanctions have not even attempted to show any evidence rebutting Lake’s claims regarding the 35,379 ballots for which Runbeck has no record of receiving. Notably, private actors like Runbeck do not benefit from presumptions favoring government actors. Garcia v. Sedillo, 70 Ariz. 192, 200 (1950) (“the officials in this election were not public officials where we can say that there is a presumption that they acted in good faith”).

Martin Walsh reported for Conservative Brief with more details about Lake’s election battle on behalf of the voters in Arizona:

The court also ordered Lake to file a response to Democrat Gov. Katie Hobbs’ and Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes’ motions asking the court to sanction Lake for claiming in her brief “the undisputed fact that 35,563 unaccounted for ballots were added to the total of ballots at a third-party processing facility.”

The justices concluded, “The record does not reflect that 35,563 unaccounted ballots were added to the total count. The motions for sanctions will be considered in due course.”

The motion over the alleged 35,563 is critical because it exceeds Hobbs’ roughly 17,000 vote margin of victory.

In late March, the Arizona Supreme Court granted Lake’s motion to revive the claim regarding the signature verification process in Maricopa County.

“In an order Wednesday, the state’s highest court said a lower court erroneously dismissed Lake’s claim challenging the application of signature verification procedures on early ballots in Maricopa County. The court sent the claim back to a trial court to consider,” the Associated Press reported.

“In her challenge, the former TV anchor focused on problems with ballot printers at some polling places in Maricopa County, home to more than 60% of the state’s voters. The defective printers produced ballots that were too light to be read by the on-site tabulators at polling places. Lines backed up in some areas amid the confusion. Lake alleged ballot printer problems were the result of intentional misconduct,” the outlet added.

The AP continued: “In mid-February, the Arizona Court of Appeals rejected Lake’s assertions, concluding she presented no evidence that voters whose ballots were unreadable by tabulators at polling places were not able to vote. The appeals court noted that even a witness called to testify on Lake’s behalf confirmed ballots that couldn’t initially be read at polling places may ultimately have been counted. And while a pollster testified that the polling place problems disenfranchised enough voters to change the election’s outcome, the appeals court said his conclusion was baseless.”

Last month, Lake announced on Twitter that her election lawsuit was headed to the Arizona Supreme Court after the appeals court ruled against her.

In their ruling, the court stated that voters were able to cast their ballots and votes were counted properly in Arizona during November’s midterm elections.

“Lake argues that the superior court erred by dismissing her claims asserting equal protection and due process violations. Her arguments fail, however, because these claims were expressly premised on an allegation of official misconduct in the form of interference with on-site tabulators — the same alleged misconduct as in Lake’s printer/tabulator claim,” the ruling stated.

It continues: “Because these claims were duplicative of a claim that Lake unsuccessfully pursued at trial, the superior court did not err by dismissing them. For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the superior court’s ruling confirming Hobbs’s election as governor. We deny Hobbs’s request for an award of attorney’s fees on appeal because she offered no substantive basis for the award.”

“Evidence ultimately supports the conclusion that voters were able to cast their ballots, that votes were counted correctly, and that no other basis justifies the election results,” it said.

But Lake’s not backing down and has been very active in political circles.

She’s been attending events, speaking with voters in several states, attended Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate a few times in recent months, and has even dropped a few hints about her political future if her election lawsuit in Arizona does not pan out.


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