Kari Lake ‘Exploring Every Avenue’ For Legal Challenges Over Arizona Election
Kari Lake, Republican gubernatorial candidate for Arizona, speaks during an Arizona Republican Party election night rally in Scottsdale, Arizona, US, on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. After months of talk about reproductive rights, threats to democracy, climate change, immigration and crime, the US midterm elections are coming down to the way Americans feel about the overall state of the economy and, in particular, inflation. Photographer: Jon Cherry/Bloomberg
Jon Cherry/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republican Kari Lake is planning legal challenges to the Arizona election after her projected loss to Democrat candidate and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

Multiple outlets called the Arizona gubernatorial race for Hobbs on Monday after nearly a week of counting ballots showed her with what is projected to be an insurmountable lead over Lake. With 99% of the vote in on Thursday, Hobbs held a roughly 17,000 vote lead over the Republican candidate.

“I am still in this fight with you. For two years, I’ve been sounding the alarm about our broken election system here in Arizona and this past week has confirmed everything we’ve been saying,” Lake said in a video posted to her social media on Thursday.

“Our election officials failed us miserably,” she continued. “Rest assured I have assembled the best and brightest legal team, and we are exploring every avenue to correct the many wrongs that have been done this past week.”

Arizona’s Election Day was marred by issues at numerous precincts. Printers at 70 of Maricopa County’s 223 polling locations printed ballots with ink too light to be read by tabulation machines, causing long wait times across precincts as election officials tried to sort out the problems. Voters were forced to wait in long lines, travel to a new polling location, or drop their ballots in drop boxes to be counted in Phoenix.

Maricopa County, which includes the Phoenix area, is the most populous county in Arizona and the fourth most populous county in the U.S.

Lake made election security one of the pillars of her campaign. Hobbs repeatedly attacked Lake as an election denier and “conspiracy theorist.” Hobbs said in her victory speech this week that “Arizonans chose solving our problems over conspiracy theories.”

As governor, Hobbs said she wouldn’t pursue any drastic changes to Arizona’s election processes. She said the speed with which ballots are counted could be increased by making changes to signature verification requirements. She also floated expanding early voting.

Bill Gates, who chairs the Maricopa County board of supervisors, has pushed back against allegations of fraud. Gates, a Republican, has said that the machine problems are a “technical issue,” not evidence of fraud.

The campaigns of Lake, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters, and the Republican National Committee sued Maricopa County election officials on Election Day in an attempt to convince the court to allow precincts to stay open for an additional three hours to allow time for voters to cast their ballots. The lawsuit was denied.

Masters conceded his race to Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly on Tuesday.

“There were obviously a lot of problems with his election, but there is no path forward in my race,” Masters said in a statement. He is about five points behind Kelly in the total vote count.

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