Monday, a court rejected a portion of the case filed by Kari Lake, the failed Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, but would allow her to present witnesses in an effort to establish that she lost due to election official malfeasance.
Judge Peter Thompson of the Maricopa County Superior Court denied eight of Lake’s ten claims in her complaint, which demands that she be declared the winner or that another election be held in the county. Thompson did not take a view on the merits of Lake’s two remaining claims, but he said that the law permits her to present her case.
Katie Hobbs defeated Lake by just over 17,000 votes out of 2.6 million total votes cast. In a two-day hearing set for Wednesday and Thursday, she will seek to argue that election officials intentionally interfered with ballot printers in Maricopa County and that votes were fraudulently inserted at a county contractor that processes returned mail ballots.
On Tuesday, a representative representing Lake will be permitted to inspect 150 ballots.
“Buckle up, America. This is far from over,” Lake wrote on Twitter after the ruling.
BREAKING: Our Election Case is going to trial. Katie Hobbs attempt to have our case thrown out FAILED. She will have to take the stand & testify.
Buckle up, America.
This is far from over. pic.twitter.com/291EnXPP3U
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) December 20, 2022
She must demonstrate not just that wrongdoing happened, but also that it influenced the outcome of her race, which is an extraordinarily difficult task. Thompson will render a verdict, which will likely be appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court.
The judge rejected a variety of constitutional allegations, including Lake’s assertion that Hobbs, in her capacity as secretary of state, and Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer participated in censorship by reporting social media posts containing election disinformation for possible removal by Twitter.
Lake has honed in on difficulties with ballot printers at some polling locations in Maricopa County, where more than 60 percent of voters reside. The malfunctioning printers created ballots that were too light for the tabulators at the polling locations to read. In several instances, lines backed up due to the uncertainty.
Abha Khanna, a lawyer representing Hobbs in her capacity as governor-elect, urged the judge on Monday to dismiss Lake’s lawsuit in its entirety by stating, “The judiciary has served as a bulwark against these efforts to undo our democratic system from within, and we ask this court to assume that role again.”
In the meanwhile, a judge in conservative Mohave County said he will decide Tuesday on a separate election challenge filed by Republican attorney general candidate Abraham Hamadeh, who lost to Democrat Kris Mayes by 511 votes. Hamadeh’s case presents some of the same arguments as Lake’s. Mayes and Hobbs, in her official role as secretary of state, have requested that the case be dismissed by Judge Lee Jantzen.