Kari Lake loses Maricopa County lawsuit in election challenge

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Published Monday, December 26, 2022
by Cameron Arcand

(The Center Square) - The Maricopa County Superior Court reaffirmed Democrat Governor-Elect Katie Hobbs's gubernatorial election win in a Saturday ruling in Republican Kari Lake's election lawsuit.

The ruling said that "the court DOES NOT find clear and convincing evidence" that "misconduct" altered the election results.

Witnesses, such as Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, testified.

Richer was questioned by Lake's attorney, Bryan Blehm, about the process and what he oversees.

In addition, a defense attorney aiming to rule out intent, asked if Richer or anyone he was aware of did anything intentionally to sabotage the outcome of the 2022 election.

"Absolutely not," Richer said.

Numerous other witnesses, ranging from conservative pollster Rich Baris, county elections director Scott Jarrett and an observer attorney for the Republican National Committee were called to the stand throughout the trial as well.

"Everyone was just freaked out," Republican National Committee attorney Mark Sonnenklar said of Election Day mishaps while on the stand on Wednesday.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson tasked Lake's team to prove that there were intentional actions that would have led to the results being impacted.

"This is about trust. This is about restoring people's trust," Lake's attorney Kurt Olsen said in his closing argument.

Meanwhile, the defense brushed off the claims made by Lake's team, including attorney Abha Khanna.

"Katie Hobbs is the next governor. The people of Arizona said so," Khanna said in the defense's closing arguments.

"The burden has not been met." Maricopa County Attorney Thomas Liddy, who was on the side of the defense, said, and called the messaging from the state Republican Party and the Lake campaign on voting "political malpractice."

Earlier this week, eight of the 10 counts were dismissed. The two counts that went to trial had to do with ballot-on-demand printer issues on Election Day and ballot chain of custody.

Lake could appeal the ruling.

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