On Wednesday, the Arizona Court of Appeals held a private meeting regarding Arizona Republican Kari Lake’s election challenge as they prepare to hear damning allegations of election failures, specifically in Maricopa County.
The appeals court’s meeting was about Lake’s appeal of a Maricopa County Superior Court decision from December, which rejected her election lawsuit against county election officials and Governor Katie Hobbs. Lake claimed that several irregularities in the 2022 gubernatorial election, including problems with voting machines at 60% of the county’s 115 voting centers, suppressed the Republican Election Day vote.
Two days after Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes referred Lake’s case for criminal prosecution to Attorney General Kris Mayes over a tweet regarding the improper counting of ballots with mismatched signatures in Senate testimony, the court reviewed the case.
“Today’s Senate Testimony CONFIRMS nearly 40,000 ballots illegally counted (10% of the signatures reviewed),” Lake tweeted on January 23. “I think all the ‘Election Deniers’ out there deserve an apology.”
“Lake included a graphic displaying a sampling of ballots that were counted despite being signed in a hand that appeared to differ sharply from the voter’s signature in the voter registration database,” Just the News reported. “The signatures that Lake posted were shared in a presentation to the Arizona state Senate Elections Committee the day she tweeted them.”
In a letter on Monday, Fontes called on Mayes to investigate whether or not Lake committed a class 6 felony.
“This is becoming all too common in politics — another attempt to weaponize the justice system with a phony allegation against a Republican,” Lake attorney Tim LaSota said as he hammered Fontes. “Adrian Fontes selectively quotes the statute in an attempt to distort the law and smear Kari Lake in the process. Kris Mayes should immediately say that she will have no part in this shameful, disgusting effort.”
“This information came from the Arizona Senate investigation on acceptance of clearly mismatched signatures on early ballots, and Kari Lake has an absolute right under the First Amendment to republish the information presented to the Senate,” he continued.
Last week, the Arizona state Senate Elections Committee heard new bombshell testimony regarding election integrity in the 2022 election in Maricopa County.
Just the News continues:
During a hearing last week on 2022 election irregularities, Shelby Busch, the cofounder of We the People AZ, testified before the committee that 47,366 of verified voter signatures reviewed by her group didn’t meet the basic Arizona Secretary of State standards, showing pictures of the signatures in her presentation.
Busch’s group was commissioned by outgoing state Senate President Karen Fann to submit public records requests to the Maricopa County Elections Department. We the People AZ investigated both the 2020 and 2022 elections in the county.
Busch also reported that 217,305 ballots of the 464,926 ballots fed into tabulators on Election Day in Maricopa County in 2022 were rejected.
On Monday, Busch told the committee that her group found multiple violations of state election law by the county. The alleged infractions include excessive ballot adjudication; the effective disenfranchisement of thousands of (mostly Republican) voters on Election Day; and around 300,000 ballots that didn’t have chain of custody.
Busch found, for example, that the number of ballots referred to a bipartisan board for adjudication due to missing information or an overvote jumped sharply in the last two election cycles. While the normal rate of adjudication isn’t greater than 4%, the percentage rose to 11.9% in 2020, then 14.36% in 2022.
She testified that 64% of the 4,021 people waiting in lines of 85 or more people when the polls closed at 7 p.m. never got to vote.
Heather Honey, the founder of election integrity watchdog Verify Vote, testified that there was a lack of chain of custody for around 300,000 Early Voting ballots dropped off in drop boxes on Election Day. Honey previously gave similar testimony during Lake’s election trial in December.
Technical problems at vote centers on Election Day are a central focus of Lake’s lawsuit. At her rally in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Sunday, she revealed more on what her team has found.
Lake showed a heat map that hangs in the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center that represented 2020 Republican in-person Election Day and early voting turnout and overlaid it with pins indicating where vote centers experienced major election machine malfunctions on Election Day in 2022. Most of the problematic vote centers were in deep red, or Republican, areas of the county.
Look how perfectly Election Day Polling FAILURES on November 8th match up with the REPUBLICAN heat map.
Share this anywhere and everywhere you possibly can. SHARE! pic.twitter.com/1JCD7fvNDX
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) February 1, 2023