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A Trump ally challenges her loss in the Arizona gubernatorial race

Kari Lake, the defeated Republican in the Arizona gubernatorial race, is formally contesting her loss to Democrat Katie Hobbs.

Kari Lake, the defeated Republican in the Arizona gubernatorial race, is formally contesting her loss to Democrat Katie Hobbs and is asking a court to throw out certified election results from the state’s most populous county.

Lake, an ally of former US President Donald Trump, in her lawsuit filed Friday night appealed to the court to either declare her the winner or rerun the gubernatorial election in that county. The lawsuit focuses on the long lines and other difficulties people experienced while voting on Election Day in Maricopa County.

Lake, one of the highest-profile Republican candidates in the midterms, had narrowly lost to Hobbs in a bid to become Arizona’s next governor.

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The challenge 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 he lost to Hobbs by more than 17,000 votes. She had also accepted former President Trump’s false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

The Trump-backed gubernatorial candidate has bombarded Maricopa County with complaints, largely related to a problem with printers at some polling places that caused ballots to be printed with markings that were too light to be read by tabulators. in the place.

Lines built up at some polling places, raising Republican suspicions that some supporters were unable to cast their ballots, though there is no evidence it affected the outcome. County officials say everyone was able to vote and all legal ballots were counted.

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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 was under review, but had no further comment on the filing.

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Jason Berry, a Maricopa County spokesman, declined to comment on Lake’s request to throw out the county’s election results in the gubernatorial race. But he said the county “respects the electoral contest process and looks forward to sharing data about the administration of the 2022 general election and our work to ensure that all legal voters have an opportunity to cast their ballot.”

In this photo combination, Arizona gubernatorial candidates Republican Kari Lake and Democrat Katie Hobbs are pictured together.
Lake (left) and supporters of his failed Arizona gubernatorial campaign are attacking Hobbs for having a conflict of interest overseeing the election he won. [Ross D Franklin/AP]

Hobbs, in a post on his Twitter account, called the lawsuit “Lake’s last desperate attempt to undermine our democracy and nullify the will of the voters.” She released a statement from her campaign manager in which she called the lawsuit a “sham” and said her campaign remained focused on “preparing to go to work on the first day of the Katie Hobbs administration.”

Lake’s lawsuit says Republicans were disproportionately affected by the troubles in Maricopa County because they outscored Democrats on Election Day 3-1. Republican leaders had urged their voters to wait until Election Day to vote.

In late November, Lake filed a public records lawsuit demanding that Maricopa County turn over election-related documents. She was looking to identify voters who might have had trouble casting their ballots, such as people who registered at more than one polling place or those who returned a mail-in ballot and also registered at one polling place.

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Earlier this year, a federal judge also denied a request by Lake and Mark Finchem, the defeated Republican candidate for secretary of state, to require a manual count of all ballots during the November election.

The judge has since sanctioned the attorneys representing Lake and Finchem, saying they “made false, misleading, and unsubstantiated factual assertions” in their lawsuit. The lawyers told the court that their claims were “legally sound and supported by solid evidence”.

Hobbs, in her role as secretary of state, asked a court to begin a statutorily required automatic statewide recount in three contests decided by less than half a percentage point.

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The race for attorney general was one of the closest races in state history, with Democrat Kris Mayes beating Republican Abe Hamadeh by just 510 votes out of 2.5 million cast.

Races for superintendent of public instruction and a state legislature seat in suburban Phoenix will also be counted, but the margins are much more significant.

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