The Biggest Election Deniers Want SCOTUS to Ban Voting Machines

A pin board with Kari Lake rendered in red in the center. Red dotted lines connect her with pictures of Mark Finchem, Mike Lindell, Alan Dershowitz, Jeffrey Epstein, O.J. Simpson, Donald Trump, and an electronic voting machine.

“This is big everybody! This is what we’ve been waiting for,” Mike Lindell, the pillow mogul, conspiracy theorist and advisor to former President Donald Trump, teased on Steve Bannon’s podcast on Sunday. “This isn’t just some tinfoil hat case, this is huge… This new evidence is the most explosive evidence ever! This coming Friday on the steps of the Supreme Court, 3:00 PM. We’re gonna hand-deliver this to the world. It’s going to be the biggest thing ever, and we are going to save this country!”

Lindell will not end up on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, as he later told Lou Dobbs that it was not “safe” for him without explaining why. But lawyers that Lindell hired are reviving a lawsuit challenging the use of electronic voting machines in Arizona by asking the nation’s highest court to take the case. The lawsuit — filed originally in 2022 on behalf of Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and state Rep. Mark Finchem, who ran for secretary of state — alleges that the electronic voting systems used to tabulate votes are not trustworthy, thus violating state law and the U.S. Constitution. 

The allegations, based on false claims and conspiracy theories about Dominion Voting Systems stemming from the “Big Lie” of the 2020 election, were rejected by an Arizona district court judge — who sanctioned Lake, Finchem, and their lawyers for their baseless claims — and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But that hasn’t stopped Lake and company.

In a cert petition filed in the Supreme Court — by one of Lindell’s lawyers, Lawrence J. Joseph, and first uploaded by Arizona Law — Lake and Finchem again stir up conspiracy theories about Dominion Voting Services, a voting machine manufacturer whose products are used widely in elections across the country. Specifically, they allege that Maricopa County election officials used “uncertified” software to tabulate votes, and that they found a security breach in Dominion’s voting machines that made them vulnerable to hacking. 

With this latest effort, it’s time to review the wide-ranging cast of characters involved in this “frivolous” lawsuit that’s dragged on for two years.

Mike Lindell

For many years, Mike Lindell was best known as the MyPillow Guy — the founder and CEO of a pillow manufacturing company who dominated infomercials in the mid-to-late 2000s. Lindell was an early supporter of, and major donor to, Trump in the 2016 presidential race and soon his relationship with the former president eclipsed his reputation as a pillow magnate. 

Lindell attended Trump’s inauguration and was a frequent guest at the White House during his presidency. His seemingly close relationship with the former president turned him into a popular figure in Trump’s GOP, giving him a major platform as a frequent Fox News guest (also thanks to his MyPillow advertising on the network) and featured speaker at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). 

In 2020, Lindell campaigned for Trump and became a central figure in the efforts to overturn the results of the election. After president Joe Biden was declared the presumptive winner, Lindell sponsored and financed a two-week bus tour across the country where prominent Trump supporters held rallies promoting conspiracy theories about a stolen election. Lindell was one of the most vocal proponents of a debunked conspiracy theory alleging that Dominion Voting Systems — a voting machine manufacturer whose products are used widely in elections across the country — conspired with Biden and Democrats to steal the election from Trump. “You have positioned yourself as a prominent leader of the ongoing misinformation campaign,” Dominion wrote in a warning letter to Lindell. The company subsequently filed a defamation lawsuit against Lindell for $1.3 billion.

He continued his crusade against electronic voting machines in the 2022 midterms, bankrolling a legal effort to get them outlawed in Arizona. He contributed at least $500,000 toward the lawsuit filed by Lake and Finchem to ban the use of voting machines in the Arizona midterms, according to The Guardian, and said he wants to underwrite similar lawsuits across the country. “I’d like to file the lawsuits in all 50 states,” he said.

Kari Lake

Lake, a former local TV news anchor, positioned herself as Arizona’s leading MAGA sycophant — and avowed election denier — when she launched her gubernatorial campaign in 2021. Throughout her pivot from media to politics, Lake promoted right-wing conspiracy theories and misinformation relating to COVID-19, former President Barack Obama and immigration

But she’s been the loudest in her promotion of the “Big Lie.” Her lawsuit with Finchem to ban electronic voting machines was filed before she even officially launched her gubernatorial campaign. She spent a majority of her midterm campaign traveling around the state bragging about her loyalty to Trump and the “Big Lie” movement. “As bad as they want to make the stolen election, known as ‘The Big Lie’ go away — they will never be successful,” she wrote on Twitter. “The World knows that 2020 was a terrible disaster that forced the worst President in History.”

After Lake’s resounding loss to Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) she refused to concede and describes herself as the “lawful governor of Arizona.” In December of 2022, she sued Hobbs, who at the time was secretary of state, along with the Maricopa County recorder, board of supervisors and director of elections challenging the results of the election, which was dismissed by a district court, the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Arizona Supreme Court. (She appealed the Supreme Court decision and the litigation is ongoing before the Arizona Court of Appeals).

In October of 2023, Lake officially launched her campaign for U.S. Senate, for the seat currently held by outgoing Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I). In her Senate campaign, Lake is attempting (and failing) to somewhat rehabilitate her image as a hardline MAGA conspiracy theorist, saying in her announcement speech that she wants to “restore honest elections,” which she said was “not a Republican issue. It’s not a Democrat issue. It’s an American issue,” according to the Wall Street Journal. 

Kari Lake is still an election denier and her attachment to the writ of certiorari filed today cements her connection to one of the biggest lingering election litigation fueled by conspiracy theories.

Mark Finchem

Years before Finchem launched his campaign to be Arizona’s secretary of state he cultivated a reputation as one of the state’s most extremist Republican politicians. He’s a longtime member of the far-right paramilitary group the Oath Keepers and, throughout his tenure in the Arizona House of Representatives, promoted a long list of racist, antisemitic and QAnon conspiracy theories, including that 9/11 was an attack by the federal government and that the deadly 2017 Unite the Right white supremacist rally was a Democratic deep state psyop.

Finchem attended the rally near the White House on Jan. 6, 2021 that preceded the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol. He later tweeted photos of protesters trespassing on the Capitol grounds and was subsequently interviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the House committee tasked with investigating the attack. 

Like Lake, Finchem lost his 2022 election and sued to get the results overturned. A trial court dismissed the lawsuit and Finchem’s appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court was denied. Finchem appealed the Supreme Court’s denial but eventually withdrew it after a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge sanctioned him and his lawyer over the suit, writing that the lawsuit “was groundless and not brought in good faith.” His lawyer was forced to retire after the sanction. In July of 2023, Finchem filed a “statement of interest” to run for a seat in the Arizona state Senate. 

Alan Dershowitz

Dershowitz — one of the most well-known Constitutional lawyers who’s represented everyone from O.J. Simpson, to Julian Assange, to Jeffrey Epstein and Trump in his first impeachment trialsaid that he joined Lindell’s legal team in 2022 out of “respect for civil liberties and the Constitution.”

Specifically, Dershowitz said that he joined Lindell’s legal team to represent him in a lawsuit against the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation over their search and seizure of his phone as part of an investigation into a Colorado county clerk allegedly tampering with voting equipment in 2022. 

Yet Lindell kept Dershowitz on retainer and said that he “hired” him to help with Lake and Finchem’s lawsuit to ban electronic voting machines in Arizona. Dershowitz, along with Lake, Finchem and the other members of Lindell’s legal team, were sanctioned by a district court judge. Dershowitz asked the court to reconsider, but his request was denied. In the order granting sanctions, the judge wrote that the claims of the lawsuit were “frivolous in that they are ‘both baseless and made without a reasonable and competent inquiry,’” and specifically called out Lindell’s legal team for defending claims about electronic voting machines that “baselessly kicked up a cloud of dust.”

In a statement to Arizona Central in response to the sanctions, Dershowitz wrote that he “never challenged the results of any Arizona elections,” but that he “provided legal advice about the future use of vote counting machines by companies that refuse to disclose the inner workings of their machines.”

Lawrence J. Joseph

Lawrence Joseph, an attorney who is representing the applicants in their petition filed in the Supreme Court today, is a familiar name to those who paid close attention to Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. That is because Joseph was instrumental in the legal efforts that attempted to overturn the 2020 election results. Joseph notoriously filed a petition on behalf of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to sue the state of Pennsylvania over their certification of 2020 election results. 

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request to hear the case, and an amicus brief filed by a group of former Republican officials opposing the effort said that Paxton’s lawsuit “make a mockery of federalism and separation of powers.” 

Lawrence also filed a lawsuit on behalf of Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert (R) against former Vice President Mike Pence that sought to force Pence to reject the electoral votes in certain states and instead have him choose electors to cast their ballot for Trump.