Arizona governor-elect requests sanctions against former opponent over unfounded election misconduct lawsuit News
© WikiMedia (Gage Skidmore)
Arizona governor-elect requests sanctions against former opponent over unfounded election misconduct lawsuit

Arizona governor-elect Katie Hobbs and Maricopa County officials Monday filed for sanctions against former Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake after a state judge dismissed Lake’s remaining claims of election misconduct. In the motion, Hobbs and other defendants also asked for $25,050 in attorney fees because of Lake’s decision to continue litigation despite the lack of evidence. The parties went on to state:

It is past time to end unfounded attacks on elections and unwarranted accusations against elections officials. This matter was brought without any legitimate justification, let alone a substantial one.The Maricopa County Defendants therefore ask this Court to impose sanctions against Plaintiff Kari Lake and her attorneys, Brian Blehm and Kurt Olsen.

Lake filed a lawsuit against Arizona election officials on December 9 in the Superior Court of Maricopa county. She alleged that the separation of votes between her and Ms. Hobbs is “far narrower than the number of presumptively illegal and illegally cast ballots in Arizona.” She asked that the court either set aside the results of the election and declare her the winner instead or re-do the election in Maricopa county, the most populous in Arizona. Among Lake’s demands for relief included a request to inspect the ballots in Maricopa county. On December 16 the court granted her permission to inspect the ballots but not to copy or photograph them.

Judge Peter Thompson previously dismissed 8 of the 10 claims made by Lake. The remaining claims required her to prove that election officials in Maricopa county had deliberately caused the malfunction of ballot-on-demand (BOD) printers to affect the outcome of the election and that the election results had been affected. The second claim would have similarly required Lake to prove that election officials had intentionally violated chain-of-custody procedures. She claimed that workers at an off-site facility had added their ballots to the batches of incoming ballots without proper documentation and adherence to procedure.

Thompson could not find “clear and convincing evidence” of election misconduct in either claim and summarily dismissed them. He opined that, while “no system on earth is perfect,” Arizona’s election is “more than sufficient to comply with the law and conduct a valid election.” Hobbs’ office released a statement expressing satisfaction with the verdict while Lake expressed her intention to appeal the verdict.

This verdict come close on the heels of similar decisions by Arizonian courts regarding the results of the 2022 midterm elections. A state court also dismissed a lawsuit by former Republican candidate for Arizona Secretary of State Mark Finchem claiming election misconduct.