Arizona Judge Tosses Kari Lake’s 2022 Election Lawsuit
An Arizona judge threw out a lawsuit filed by Kari Lake over her defeat in last year’s race for governor, ruling that she had failed to prove that the state’s most populous county, Maricopa, had neglected to review voters’ signatures on mail-in ballot envelopes.
The decision, issued late Monday, is the latest legal setback for Ms. Lake, a Republican who was backed by former President Donald J. Trump in one of the nation’s most prominent governors’ races in 2022.
During a three-day bench trial last week in state Superior Court in Maricopa County, Ms. Lake’s lawyers argued that election workers worked too quickly to properly review 300,000 signatures that accompanied mail-in ballots.
But in a six-page decision, Judge Peter A. Thompson wrote that the process had complied with state law, which requires signatures to be compared to ones in public voter files, but does not include specific guidelines for how much time a worker must spend on each ballot.
“Plaintiff’s evidence and arguments do not clear the bar,” he wrote, adding: “Not one second, not three seconds, and not six seconds: No standard appears in the plain text of the statute.”
Ms. Lake and her lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday, and it was not clear whether she would appeal the ruling.
The case was the latest in a string of court losses over the election for Ms. Lake, who has claimed, without evidence, that mail-in voting compromises election integrity. Other claims in her lawsuit had previously been rejected by the court.
Ms. Lake has suggested she may run for office again. This year, she said she was considering a run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who left the Democratic Party in December to become an independent.
Clint L. Hickman, the chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which helps oversee elections in the county, praised the judge’s decision in a statement on Monday.
“Wild claims of rigged elections may generate media attention and fund-raising pleas, but they do not win court cases,” he wrote. “When ‘bombshells’ and ‘smoking guns’ are not backed up by facts, they fail in court.”