AZ Supreme Court Orders Lower Court to Proceed with Kari Lake’s Election Challenge Case

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The Arizona Supreme Court ordered a trial court Thursday to proceed with Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s election lawsuit challenging Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs’ win in November.

In March, the Supreme Court affirmed most of the trial court’s and the Arizona Court of Appeals’ rulings in favor of Hobbs, but did remand Lake’s claim that Maricopa County did not follow signature verification requirements to the trial court.

One of Lake’s allegations rejected by the justices was “the undisputed fact that 35,563 unaccounted for ballots were added to the total [number] of ballots” after they were delivered to the third-party processing facility used by the county, Runbeck Election Services.

“The record does not reflect that 35,563 unaccounted ballots were added to the total count,” the court stated in its March order. The justices added that sanctions sought by defendants Hobbs, Maricopa County and Secretary of State Adrian Fontes against Lake’s suit would be “considered in due course.”

On Thursday, the court sanctioned Lake $2,000 regarding the ballot claim, stating it was based on an estimate of the number of mail-in ballots received by Runbeck Election Day versus the number it finally reported tallying.

Lake had argued the discrepancy was significant and deserved further review because it exceeded Hobbs’ approximately 17,000-vote margin of victory.

The Supreme Court denied the defendants’ request for attorneys fees.

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