PHOENIX (AP) — Kari Lake, the Republican who was defeated in the Arizona gubernatorial race, is officially challenging her loss to Democrat Katie Hobbs and asking a court to discard certified election results from the state’s most populous county and declare her either the winner declare or re-election gubernatorial election in that county.
The lawsuit, filed by Lake late Friday, focuses on long lines and other difficulties people were experiencing voting on Election Day in Maricopa County. The lawsuit, filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, also alleges that hundreds of thousands of ballots were cast illegally, but there is no evidence that this is true.
Lake has refused to acknowledge that she lost to Hobbs by more than 17,000 votes.
The Donald Trump-backed gubernatorial candidate has bombarded Maricopa County with complaints largely related to a problem with printers at some voting centers that resulted in ballots being printed with markings too light to be read by on-site tabs .
Lines formed at some polling stations, raising Republican suspicions that some supporters were unable to cast a ballot, although there is no evidence it affected the result. County officials say anyone could vote and all legal ballots were counted.
Lake sued Maricopa County officials and Hobbs in her current role as Arizona Secretary of State.
Sophia Solis, a spokeswoman for the Secretary of State’s office, said Lake’s lawsuit is under review but had no further comment on the filing.
Jason Berry, a spokesman for Maricopa County, declined to comment on Lake’s motion to overturn the county’s election results in the gubernatorial race. But he said the county “respects the election competition process and looks forward to sharing facts about the administration of the 2022 general election and our work to ensure every legal voter has an opportunity to cast their ballot.”
In a post on her Twitter account, Hobbs called the lawsuit “Lake’s latest desperate attempt to undermine our democracy and defeat the will of voters.” She released a statement from her campaign manager calling the lawsuit a “sham” and said her camp remained focused on “preparing to launch on the first day of Katie Hobbs’ term.”
Lake’s lawsuit states that Republicans were disproportionately affected by the troubles in Maricopa County because they outvoted Democrats 3-1 on Election Day. GOP leaders had urged their constituents to wait until Election Day to vote.
In late November, Lake filed a public lawsuit asking Maricopa County to turn over documents related to the election. She tried to identify voters who might have had problems voting, such as:
Over the summer, a federal judge also denied a request by Lake and Mark Finchem, the losing Republican nominee for secretary of state, to require manual counting of all ballots in November’s election.
The judge has since sanctioned attorneys representing Lake and Finchem, saying they made “false, misleading and unsubstantiated allegations of fact” in their lawsuit. The lawyers told the court that their allegations were “lawful and supported by strong evidence.”
Hobbs, in her role as Secretary of State, has petitioned a court to institute a statutory automatic nationwide recount in three races decided by less than half a percentage point.
The race for attorney general was one of the closest contests in state history, with Democrat Kris Mayes leading Republican Abe Hamadeh by just 510 out of 2.5 million votes cast.
The races for superintendent of public instruction and a legislative seat in the Phoenix suburbs are also being recounted, but the margins are much larger.
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