WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, March 1, failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate and election denier Kari Lake (R) took her previously dismissed election contest to the Arizona Supreme Court. On Feb. 16, the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision that dismissed Lake’s election contest. Today, Lake appealed this decision to Arizona’s highest court, arguing that the appellate court’s opinion must be reversed because the lower court didn’t appropriately review her claims and instead “ruled that Arizona election laws don’t matter.” The petition suggests that the trial court used to the incorrect standard when rejecting her election contest and the defendants — rather than Lake — should have been required to prove there was no misconduct in Maricopa County, thereby flipping the normal burden of proof: “The court of appeals required proving outcome-determinative numbers of votes by clear-and-convincing evidence…Thus, rather than a clear-and-convincing standard against Lake, this Court’s [prior] decision should shift the evidentiary burden to defendants.” Lake goes a step further to assert that “undisputed facts, and the violations of law” presented in her petition “show that Maricopa’s 2022 election must be set aside.” The Arizona Supreme Court will now decide if it will grant Lake’s petition and review the appellate court’s decision.
Following her November 2022 loss to Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) by over 17,000 votes, Lake argued in the trial 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. 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.”
On appeal to the intermediate court, Lake argued that the trial court erred when it dismissed her conspiracy-riddled case and the decision should be reversed by the appellate court. Ultimately, an Arizona appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision and stated that Lake’s “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.” Despite this, Lake is continuing her conspiracy-based quest to overturn the results of Arizona’s 2022 gubernatorial election.