Judge Dismisses Kari Lake’s Lawsuit And Confirms Katie Hobbs’ Win

Kari Lake (Photo by Joshua Lott/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson dismissed the lawsuit lodged by unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake Saturday, confirming Katie Hobbs’ election as Arizona’s governor-elect. 

“Every one of Plaintiff’s witnesses — and for that matter, Defendants’ witnesses as well — was asked about any personal knowledge of both intentional misconduct and intentional misconduct directed to impact the 2022 General Election,” he wrote. “Every single witness before the Court disclaimed any personal knowledge of such misconduct. The Court cannot accept speculation or conjecture in place of clear and convincing evidence.”

Thompson, who took extensive notes throughout the two days of trial, ticked through Lake’s witnesses one by one. Some had testified about technological snafus or administrative errors they had witnessed, speculating that the hiccups were enough to pollute the entire election. 

Since Thompson had only let two counts of Lake’s 10-part lawsuit go to trial, much of the testimony was focused on errors by ballot printing machines, which witnesses said produced ballots that could not be read by the tabulators. Even then, multiple Lake witnesses had to admit that the rejected votes would have been duplicated on proper ballot forms that the tabulators could read. 

“It bears mentioning that election workers themselves were attested to by both Plaintiff’s witnesses and the Defendants’ witnesses as being dedicated to performing their role with integrity,” Thompson wrote. “Not perfectly, as no system on this earth is perfect, but more than sufficient to comply with the law and conduct a valid election.”

Thompson will now provide a couple days for Hobbs’ team to file motions to sanction Lake’s lawyers.  

“Plaintiff has no free-standing right to challenge election results based upon what Plaintiff believes — rightly or wrongly — went awry on Election Day,” he wrote. “She must, as a matter of law, prove a ground that the legislature has provided as a basis for challenging an election.”

Lake premised her campaign on Donald Trump’s 2020 election denialism, and unsurprisingly called foul when her own election didn’t go her way. Mark Finchem, the Republican candidate for Arizona secretary of state, sang a similar tune, but saw his lawsuit to overturn his election loss dismissed earlier this month. 

Lake tweeted Saturday afternoon that she will appeal Thompson’s ruling.

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