Kari Lake, former GOP candidate for governor of Arizona in 2022, is confident of her chances of winning her case in court. She makes her final arguments to support her lawsuit disputing election results.
The third and final trial day is Friday. Lake claims that Maricopa County election officials failed to verify signatures on ballots flagged by lower-level screeners. Lake made several claims, which were almost all dismissed by the courts. She claimed that Katie Hobbs, the Democratic Governor of Arizona at the time of the midterm elections, had not defeated her. Hobbs won the midterm election by over 17,000 votes. She was inaugurated as governor in January.
Lake was seen in courtrooms throughout the trial. Her Twitter accounts actively covered the proceedings, portraying Lake’s legal efforts as edging closer to victory.
Her campaign tweeted on Friday that “Maricopa’s Director Elections just proved our case in court.”
The day before Lake’s account tweeted: “Today in court we proved how badly the ONLY security feature on mail-in votes (signature validation) is done.”
Lake must prove that her claims about signature verification were true and also that they affected her race against Hobbs.
Lake was contacted via email to get a comment.
The second trial in Lake’s case began on Wednesday. Jacqueline Onigkeit was the first witness who took the stand. Lake called her a “whistleblower”.
In her testimony, Onigkeit stated that she felt “uncomfortable”, and under pressure during the voting process. Supervisors had asked both her and other witnesses to review some ballots which had been previously rejected. She confirmed, however, that she did her best to participate in the signature verification.
“Supervisors said, ‘You should be very careful. Onigkeit stated on the stand that “you need to be very careful and aware of what you are doing. Remember, whatever you approve or reject, you could be called to testify.”
On the second day of voting, Maricopa County Elections Director Ray Valenzuela refuted claims made by an expert in signature verification about how quickly votes can be verified. He also stated that signature verifiers are randomly audited to ensure “consistency.”
The trial will end on Friday but Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson may not make a ruling this week. It could be weeks or even days before he makes a decision.
Lake filed the suit in December last year, but Thompson failed to convince her that there was enough evidence to declare Lake the winner after a two-day court trial.
Lake appealed the decision, but the Court of Appeals of the state reaffirmed that of the lower court. The case was brought to the Arizona Supreme Court. They largely agreed that Thompson’s claim had merit, but they sent back one claim about signature verification to the lower court to be reconsidered. This is the issue at the center of the current trial.