WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, Nov. 23, Kari Lake’s gubernatorial campaign filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County, Arizona, the Maricopa County recorder, multiple election officials and members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors seeking to compel the production of records relating to the midterm elections held on Nov. 8, 2022. This legal action comes after Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for Arizona governor and notable election denier, lost her election to the Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs by over 17,000 votes. In the complaint, Lake’s campaign alleges that due numerous issues that occurred on Election Day — including “misprinted ballots [at approximately 118 polling locations], the commingling of counted and uncounted ballots, and long lines discouraging people from voting” — the production of records is warranted under the Arizona Public Records Act and is necessary for the plaintiff “to determine the full extent of the problems identified and their impacts on electors.” Lake’s campaign also claims that the issues that occurred on Election Day throughout Maricopa County have “caused voters to be concerned…about the validity of the election results” and the requested records are “vital to the integrity of the election process and necessary to show, ahead of canvassing, that every legal ballot was properly counted.” Lake’s campaign ultimately asks that the court issue a writ of mandamus (a court order compelling a party to take a certain action) requiring the defendants to produce the requested records prior to the canvassing of election results.
Notably, this complaint was filed in the midst of an outcry from the GOP over Maricopa County’s handling of Election Day procedures for the Nov. 8 midterms elections. In a departure from its usual posture — oriented towards voter suppression tactics under the guise of “election integrity” — the Republican Party and its members, including Lake, have evidently shifted their tone and are now underscoring numerous instances of disenfranchisement and voter suppression, such as long lines and wait times at the polls. While the Lake campaign’s complaint asserts that “many eligible voters may not have been able to vote” due to alleged issues on Election Day, Maricopa County officials issued a report following the election that largely dispels Lake’s claims regarding mass disenfranchisement. For instance, regarding the alleged printer issues raised in the Lake campaign’s complaint, the report states that “while Maricopa County’s printer issue in 2022 impacted more Vote Centers than normal, every voter was afforded the ability to legally and securely cast their ballot.” Just last week, Republican attorney general candidate and election denier Abraham Hamadeh, along with the Republican National Committee, filed a lawsuit challenging the results of the 2022 election for Arizona attorney general and alleging that Election Day issues, specifically in Maricopa County, caused hundreds of voters to be disenfranchised.