Home News Kari Lake’s Trial to Review Ballot Envelopes of 1.3 Million Early Voters

Kari Lake’s Trial to Review Ballot Envelopes of 1.3 Million Early Voters

43
0

Kari Lake’s Trial: A former Republican candidate for governor has been denied access to ballot envelopes of over one million early voters in her third trial related to the 2022 election.

Kari Lake Loses Another Lawsuit Over Arizona Election Results

Kari Lake’s Trial
Kari Lake’s Trial

Kari Lake, Arizona’s defeated Republican candidate for governor last year, suffered yet another setback when her request to inspect signed ballot envelopes of early voters was denied by a judge on Thursday. Her third trial related to last year’s election had also gone against her.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah Jr. filed an order on Thursday arguing their release would compromise ballot verification processes in future elections.

Hannah asserted that electoral participation “outweighs the narrow interests of those who seek to undermine its institutions”.

Bryan Blehm, Lake’s attorney, did not immediately reply to messages seeking comment. Lake has not made direct statements via her social media platforms but has retweeted supportive posts on X, previously known as Twitter.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer was named as one of the defendants during this two-day bench trial and gave testimony about why Lake’s initial request to see envelope signatures was denied due to state laws protecting ballot envelope signature confidentiality.

“We cannot release this, which is why we have denied access to this plaintiff and others as well. It isn’t discriminatory,” Richer answered when queried by attorneys for the county.

Arizona voters who register early voting ballots use envelopes for early voting ballots as an affidavit in which they declare under penalty of perjury that they are registered to vote, have not already cast their vote and won’t do so again for this election. Richer cautioned against the release of ballot affidavit envelopes because this could cause an impactful “chilling effect,” where some individuals might simply abstain or choose not to sign their ballots deliberately.

Bryan Blehm, Lake’s attorney, pointed out that other documents with people’s signatures – like property deeds – are already out in the open and “in the stream of commerce,” according to him.

Judge Hewitt likened Lake’s attempts at inspecting signed envelopes as being similar to villager’s attempts at inspecting a goose that laid golden eggs – with one crucial exception: Lake’s goose failed to deliver what she expected it.

Hannah claimed if only she could open up the electoral process and examine each one of its 1.3 million pieces, she could discover what has transpired and show that the prize has always been there waiting for her.

“…even if she does not find what she is searching for… the act of disassembling will increase everyone’s trust that this machinery produces reliable outcomes.

Lake filed her lawsuit in October 2022 after losing to Katie Hobbs by about 10 percentage points and alleging widespread election irregularities and fraud in 2018. Lake sought access to various records related to voter registration, ballot counting and tabulation processes in 2022.

She also filed lawsuits challenging Arizona’s mail-in voting system and seeking an audit of all ballots cast in Maricopa County; these suits were dismissed by previous judges who found they lacked standing or merit.

Judge Hannah dismissed Lake’s latest lawsuit on Thursday after ruling she failed to provide any evidence of fraud or misconduct that would warrant investigation or audit, as well as her argument that state or constitutional provisions give her the right to access voter information and challenge election results.

Lake’s attorneys announced their intent to appeal Hannah’s ruling and continue their legal challenges against Arizona’s election system. Additionally, they accused Richer of bias towards them and violating their due process rights by refusing their request without providing explanation or justification.

Richer has justified his decision by asserting he acted within state law and court orders, while remaining open to cooperating with any legitimate requests from law enforcement or courts regarding election-related matters.

Lake’s lawsuit is just one of several legal proceedings initiated by former President Donald Trump and his allies since they lost power last year, alleging widespread voter fraud or irregularities that undermined their presidential election victories over Joe Biden. They have provided no proof for these claims.

However, courts across the nation have rejected these claims or dismissed them as frivolous or baseless. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court denied several appeals from Trump’s lawyers challenging election results in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan.

The Associated Press provided reporting from Phoenix.