Arizona Court of Appeals Rejects Kari Lake’s Election Contest
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Feb. 16, the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision dismissing failed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s (R) election contest, again rejecting Lake’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2022 governor’s race. Following her loss to Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) by over 17,000 votes, Lake argued in court that Maricopa County ballot printers and tabulator “failures” created “chaos” on Election Day and that the certification of results should be voided as a result. On appeal, Lake argued that the trial court erred when it dismissed her conspiracy-riddled case and the decision should be reversed by the appellate court. Today’s decision rejects this request by affirming the lower court’s dismissal of the case.
At trial, Lake had to prove “that the [ballot] printer malfunctions were intentional, and directed to affect the results of the election, and that such actions did actually affect the outcome” and that Maricopa County mishandled ballots during canvassing in a way that affected the canvass. On Dec. 24, 2022, an Arizona trial court judge concluded that Lake did not prove intentional misconduct affected the results of the election given that the testimony presented at trial did not “substantiate Plaintiff’s claim of intentional misconduct as to either claim.”
After Lake twice attempted (and failed) to bypass the appellate court entirely by petitioning directly the Arizona Supreme Court, her appeal proceeded before the appellate court. She contended that, “[n]otwithstanding the damning evidence presented by Plaintiff, the trial court ruled that Plaintiff needed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that Secretary of State Hobbs and Maricopa officials intentionally acted to, and did in fact, change the outcome of the 2022 general election. That is not the correct standard.” She continued that “Maricopa’s only response to the widespread chaos has been to gaslight the public—and the trial court.”
In its decision today, the Arizona Court of Appeals rejected Lake’s arguments. In the order, the court wrote that “her request for relief fails because the evidence presented to the superior court ultimately supports the court’s conclusion that voters were able to cast their ballots, that votes were counted correctly, and that no other basis justifies setting aside the election results.” This decision “affirms the superior court’s ruling confirming Hobbs’s election as governor.”