Arizona’s Supreme Court sent part of Kari Lake‘s appeal of her 2022 governor’s race defeat back to a trial court for review while refusing to hear the rest of the claims.
The remaining piece of the legal challenge concerns how Maricopa County, which includes the capital of Phoenix and is Arizona’s most populous county, performed signature verifications for early ballots.
An order from the high court late Wednesday said the superior court and Arizona Court of Appeals made an “erroneous” decision to reject the claim because of their focus on election procedures rather than the application of those procedures in last November’s contest as cited in Lake’s claim. Lake now faces the challenge of establishing that mail-in votes were affected “in sufficient numbers to alter the outcome” of last November’s election.
My statement on the Arizona Supreme Court ruling in favor of our case ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/pxo8j0Ubs2
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) March 23, 2023
“I am thrilled that the Supreme Court has agreed to give our signature verification evidence the appropriate forum for the evaluation it deserves,” Lake said in a statement.
The Arizona Supreme Court order, signed by Chief Justice Robert Brutinel, also called on Lake’s team to file a reply to the defendants’ motions for sanctions in regard to the assertion of there being “the undisputed fact that 35,563 unaccounted for ballots were added to the total of ballots at a third party facility.”
The order said the “record does not reflect” such a claim and noted the motions of sanctions “will be considered in due course.”
The AZ Supreme Court is refusing to hear 6 of 7 claims brought by @KariLake regarding her loss to @katiehobbs, and is reminding a 7th, which alleges Maricopa County violated signature verification procedures for early ballots, back to trial court. pic.twitter.com/bB8K0CQ8ns
— Jeremy Duda (@jeremyduda) March 23, 2023
Lake, a former journalist who made election integrity a top priority of her campaign, sued after the results showed that she lost the November contest to Democrat Katie Hobbs by roughly 17,000 votes in the governor’s race. Hobbs was sworn in as governor in early January.
Lake’s 2022 election complaint raised allegations of misconduct and illegal votes with issues ranging from mail-in ballots, chain-of-custody, and problematic ballot printers. Maricopa County officials acknowledged issues with the election, but insisted every valid vote in the contest had been counted.
After Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson threw out Lake’s challenge, the appellate rejected the case in February, writing that voters were “able to cast their ballots, that votes were counted correctly, and that no other basis justifies setting aside the election results.”
Throughout, Lake said she would not give in, vowing to take her case to the high court.
Two other Republican candidates, Abe Hamadeh and Mark Finchem, who ran for attorney general and secretary of state, respectively, also received unfavorable rulings in their legal challenges seeking to challenge their losses.