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Judge rejects Kari Lake’s final claim in Arizona gubernatorial election loss


While most other election denialists around the country conceded after losing their races in November, Lake did not. She has touted her legal battle in fundraising appeals and speaking around the country.

Lake did not immediately comment on the ruling.

She filed suit after losing to Hobbs by about 17,000 votes, asking the courts to install her as governor or order a new election. Thompson dismissed the case, but the Arizona Supreme Court revived a claim challenging how signature verification procedures were used in early voting in Maricopa County, home to more than 60% of the state’s voters. County officials had defended the signature verification, saying they had nothing to hide.

Lake’s signature verification claim was the subject of a three-day trial. Her lawyers argued there was evidence lower-level screeners who found discrepancies in signatures ran them up the chain of command, where they were neglected by higher-level verifiers.

She did not dispute whether voters’ signatures on ballot envelopes matched those on their voting records.

The former TV anchor faced a high bar in proving not only her signature verification claim, but that it affected the outcome of her race.

Thompson, who was appointed to the bench by former Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, said she did not meet that high bar.

“The evidence received by the court does not support plaintiff’s remaining claim,” he wrote.

Earlier in his lawsuit, Lake had focused on problems with ballot printers at some polling places in Maricopa County. The faulty printers produced ballots that were too light to be read by the local tabulators at the polling stations. Lines were backed up in some areas amid the confusion. Lake alleged problems with the ballot printer were the result of intentional misconduct.

County officials say everyone had a chance to vote and all ballots were counted because those affected by the printers were taken to more sophisticated counters at election headquarters.

In mid-February, the Arizona Court of Appeals rejected Lake’s claims, concluding that she did not present evidence that voters whose ballots were unreadable by tabulators at the polls were unable to vote.

The following month, the state Supreme Court declined to hear nearly all of Lake’s appeal, saying there was no evidence to support her claim that more than 35,000 ballots were added to the vote totals.

Earlier this month, the court fined Lake’s lawyers $2,000 for making false statements when they said more than 35,000 ballots had been improperly added to the total.

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