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Hobbs Calls For Sanctions Against Lake As Supreme Court Outcome Looms

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The Arizona Supreme Court declined last month to hear parts of Republican Kari Lake’s appeal over the gubernatorial race from November’s midterms. However, the state’s highest court did revive a claim that was dismissed by a trial court regarding the signature verification process in Maricopa County.

In a newly filed briefing, Lake’s team doubled down at the state Supreme Court on her claim that there are 35,563 ballots that were unaccounted for and allegedly showed up in Maricopa County’s final total in November’s midterm election.

The court also ordered Lake to file a response to Democrat Gov. Katie Hobbs’ and Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes’ motions asking the court to sanction Lake for claiming in her brief “the undisputed fact that 35,563 unaccounted for ballots were added to the total of ballots at a third-party processing facility.”

The justices concluded, “The record does not reflect that 35,563 unaccounted ballots were added to the total count. The motions for sanctions will be considered in due course.”

The motion over the alleged 35,563 is critical because it exceeds Hobbs’ roughly 17,000 vote margin of victory.

In late March, the Arizona Supreme Court granted Lake’s motion to revive the claim regarding the signature verification process in Maricopa County.

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“In an order Wednesday, the state’s highest court said a lower court erroneously dismissed Lake’s claim challenging the application of signature verification procedures on early ballots in Maricopa County. The court sent the claim back to a trial court to consider,” the Associated Press reported.

“In her challenge, the former TV anchor focused on problems with ballot printers at some polling places in Maricopa County, home to more than 60% of the state’s voters. The defective printers produced ballots that were too light to be read by the on-site tabulators at polling places. Lines backed up in some areas amid the confusion. Lake alleged ballot printer problems were the result of intentional misconduct,” the outlet added.

The AP continued: “In mid-February, the Arizona Court of Appeals rejected Lake’s assertions, concluding she presented no evidence that voters whose ballots were unreadable by tabulators at polling places were not able to vote. The appeals court noted that even a witness called to testify on Lake’s behalf confirmed ballots that couldn’t initially be read at polling places may ultimately have been counted. And while a pollster testified that the polling place problems disenfranchised enough voters to change the election’s outcome, the appeals court said his conclusion was baseless.”

Last month, Lake announced on Twitter that her election lawsuit was headed to the Arizona Supreme Court after the appeals court ruled against her.

In their ruling, the court stated that voters were able to cast their ballots and votes were counted properly in Arizona during November’s midterm elections.

“Lake argues that the superior court erred by dismissing her claims asserting equal protection and due process violations. Her arguments fail, however, because these claims were expressly premised on an allegation of official misconduct in the form of interference with on-site tabulators — the same alleged misconduct as in Lake’s printer/tabulator claim,” the ruling stated.

It continues: “Because these claims were duplicative of a claim that Lake unsuccessfully pursued at trial, the superior court did not err by dismissing them. For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the superior court’s ruling confirming Hobbs’s election as governor. We deny Hobbs’s request for an award of attorney’s fees on appeal because she offered no substantive basis for the award.”

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“Evidence ultimately supports the conclusion that voters were able to cast their ballots, that votes were counted correctly, and that no other basis justifies the election results,” it said.

But Lake’s not backing down and has been very active in political circles.

She’s been attending events, speaking with voters in several states, attended Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate a few times in recent months, and has even dropped a few hints about her political future if her election lawsuit in Arizona does not pan out.

She’s also been asked about reports that former President Donald Trump could be “seriously” considering her to be his 2024 running mate.

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And now an early poll exploring the 2024 U.S. Senate election in Arizona found that Lake could win the race.

A recent survey by Blueprint Polling found that Lake is leading by 4 points over Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego and by 22 points over incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who switched her party registration from Democrat to Independent.

Last month, Lake shot down a report that Trump is “seriously” considering her to be his 2024 running mate.

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