By Annalisa Pesek - thenewamerican.com
Kari Lake, the GOP front-runner in the bid for the now hotly contested Arizona governor's race, insists that she will not concede victory to her Democratic rival Katie Hobbs following the "botched and broken" election that befell voters at the polls on November 8.
On November 23, Lake took her first shot at Maricopa County officials whose actions she claims disenfranchised thousands of voters on Election Day. In the 19-page complaint, filed in Arizona Superior Court, Lake's attorneys state her desire to have "every lawful vote be properly counted and every voter who was eligible to vote be allowed to vote."
Named as co-defendants in the lawsuit are Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, Maricopa County Director of Elections for Election Services and Early Voting Rey Valenzuela, Maricopa County Director of Elections for Election Day and Emergency Voting Scott Jarrett, and several other county officials.
The lawsuit claims that Maricopa County officials unlawfully refused to fill two public records requests for information into how the election was conducted. The move coincides with the county receiving demands by the Arizona attorney general's office seeking its own answers to reports of widespread voting issues occurring under the watch of the elections administration.
"Given instances of misprinted ballots, the commingling of counted and uncounted ballots, and long lines discouraging people from voting," read a part of the complaint, "as demonstrated in the attached declarations, these records are necessary for Plaintiff to determine the full extent of the problems identified and their impacts on electors."
The urgency of the filing comes as the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is expected to canvass the November 8 election on Monday, November 28. The canvass comprises a complete accounting of all votes, including counted and rejected ballots. The lawsuit explicitly states the records must be received in advance of canvassing.
The charismatic former TV host ran a high-energy campaign with election integrity as a central issue. Yet even as her own race played out, with results still hanging in the balance more than 13 days after Election Day, one thing is certain, and Lake has been saying it all along: "We have messy elections."
As of November 21, according to the Arizona Secretary of State's office - led by Hobbs, who notably refused to recuse herself from the election aspects of her job - 100 percent of Arizona's precincts have reported their election results, with the tally for governor showing Hobbs narrowly defeating Lake 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent.
Weeks after the election, however, the state's most populous county, Maricopa, remains marred with widespread voting issues. Despite the mainstream networks, including the Associated Press and Fox News, calling the race for Hobbs, after more than 13 days of counting, election officials still had not tallied all the votes.
Thus far, Lake is determined to "fight this one out." The firebrand Republican told the DailyMail.com, "I believe at the end of the day this will be turned around and I don't know what the solution will be but I still believe I will become governor, and we are going to restore honesty to our elections."
Potentially providing Lake a pathway to victory, Arizona Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Wright issued a four-page letter on Saturday to the top attorney for election officials in Maricopa County, demanding a detailed report on the failure of voting machines in 70 precincts that caused delays for hundreds, possibly thousands, of Arizonians, who are wondering whether their votes were counted at all.
"About 20% of electronic vote tabulation machines in Maricopa, the state's most populous county, malfunctioned for a few hours on Election Day and technicians were deployed to fix them," Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer said at the time, according to Reuters.
Yet broken voting machines were not the only obstacle voters faced when they headed to the polls to cast their ballots. The media narrative is that no one was denied the right to vote. However, it's highly likely that many voters could not wait for machines to be fixed and had to leave the long lines wrapped around entire polling stations.
For voters who did wait, the process of casting a ballot was chaotic and frustrating. Many were instructed to submit a ballot into a "secure Drawer 3," where they were told it would be integrated and counted later with the rest of the ballots. Huh?
Furthermore, poll workers, observers, and voters reported widespread problems with "check out" procedures. Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates addressed this issue in a public statement, confirming voters unable to cast ballots at one polling center would be able to do so at a second polling center.
Yet per sworn testimony from election workers and voters, many poll workers were untrained in these alternative "check out" processes and were only able to assist voters with provisional ballots, as poll-book records showed voters had already cast a ballot at the original polling center.
"Based on sworn complaints received by the unit, not only have poll workers reported that they were not trained and/or not provided with information on how to execute ‘check out' procedures, but many voters have reported the second voting location required the voter to cast a provisional ballot as the e-Pollbooks maintained the voter had cast a ballot in the original voting location," wrote Wright.
Despite these atrocious violations stemming from what is clearly a broken election system, a state judge refused an emergency request by the GOP coalition to extend voting hours in Maricopa County, ruling just minutes before polls closed that the order could not be fulfilled in time and that there was no evidence anyone was denied the right to vote.
Such major disruptions on Election Day, when Republicans typically turn out en masse to cast their votes, have prompted Arizona residents and prominent conservatives in the state to call for a re-vote.
"Arizonans know BS when they see it," tweeted Lake after the Associated Press called the race for Hobbs. "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," said Lake. "I'm doing everything in my power to right these wrongs."
"What happened was the equivalent of a Maricopa election earthquake and voters deserve a do over," wrote Turning Point USA president and founder Charlie Kirk on the messaging app Telegram. "We will never know who actually won in Arizona. Only remedy would be for a re-vote. Courtesy of Katie Hobbs, Bill Gates, and Stephen Richer."
Lake has been labeled "a right-wing former newscaster who was talked about as a future leader in a Trump-dominated Republican Party" by the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party known as The New York Times. But her dogged pursuit of answers to the widespread irregularities of the 2020 presidential election was one of the issues that kept her leading in the polls and poised to win the battleground state.
"Seventy percent of our supporters were voting on election day and they were showing up and the machines didn't work, the tabulators didn't work, printers didn't work - that's massive," she told the Daily Mail, adding that those who turned out on Election Day feel they have been failed by the system.
"The people of Arizona after this election have lost all faith in our election systems in Arizona," she said. "Not only are we the laughingstock of elections across the globe - and I would throw some of the most corrupt countries in the world into that category - and we still top the list. The way they run elections in Maricopa County [is] worse than in banana republics around this world."
As Lake continues to fight the outcome of the election, her concerns are being taken seriously by the office of Attorney General Mark Brnovich.
"These complaints go beyond pure speculation, but include first-hand witness accounts that raise concerns regarding Maricopa's lawful compliance with Arizona election law," wrote Assistant Attorney General Wright.
"Furthermore, statements made by both [Board of Supervisors] Chairman (Bill) Gates and Recorder (Stephen) Richer, along with information Maricopa County released through official modes of communication appear to confirm potential statutory violations of Title 16."
As of Tuesday, Mohave and Cochise counties have both voted to delay certification of their election results. The move has been claimed by Lake's opponents to be a political one, as both Mohave and Cochise counties are Republican-led, but the counties have not backed down and have called on Secretary of State Hobbs to guarantee their voting machines were certified.
Per reporting by the Daily Mail, "on Monday, state Elections Director Kori Lorick provided the county board with certifications for the vote-counting machines from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Lorick also warned the board that the state would sue if they did not certify on time."
The outlet also informed that "county boards do not have the legal right either to change the results provided by their elections officials or refuse to certify them. And Lorick wrote that if the certification is not received by the secretary of state by Dec. 5, all the Cochise County votes will go uncounted."
When we recall the shocking events that unfolded in 2020 in key battleground states (where now legislators are fed up and fighting for reform), the lack of transparency and accountability of election officials seemingly worked to prevent investigations into a shadowy presidential election. Therefore, delaying the process of certification is the right move that will help decide the rightful winner of the election.
As Arizona Senator Wendy Rogers so aptly stated in October of last year, "if we do not have accurate and fair elections, we do not have a country."
Even in less-Democratic strongholds, such as Arizona, grassroots election-integrity groups are rising to make reform happen. And rising with them are leaders like Kari Lake. To smash the reign of tyrannical governors - which is what Katie Hobbs will be to Arizonians if she is elected, continuing the overreach and relentless quest for power - the only answer is to end election fraud, lest the integrity of free and fair elections becomes more and more severely compromised.
This is an ongoing story that will be updated as events develop.
The election was rigged against Kari Lake. She was a key target of the fraudsters because she was the most vocal in exposing the stolen 2020 election.
One of the more interesting fun facts is that the Republican treasurer easily won re-election, getting 400,000 more votes than Lake did. Complete fraud.
They committed Vote Fraud in all the races they need to control the Govt - such as Senate, Governor, Secretary of State, and AG.
All the races just below those they didn't bother to cheat.
And each of those got 200,000+ MORE Votes for the Republicans in Each of the Races.
No one votes AG one way, and Treasurer the other. It just does not happen that far down ballot. Period.
Once these corrupt state governments are entrenched they can continue to perpetuate their power by "reelecting themselves" through election fraud.
The best model to follow is Chile. Paper ballots each inspected by 5 different officials at once. Both sides of politics, government and military. ID required to vote.
They count them in less than 24 hours.