Republican Kari Lake, who finished second in the Arizona governor contest, has pledged to drop “bombshells” to prove she was the actual winner.
On the opening day of the trial for her election challenge, however, on Wednesday, her attorneys raised minor issues that didn’t seem to demonstrate the widespread, willful malfeasance she would need to establish.
Lawyers representing the former television anchor are emphasizing issues with ballot printers at some polling stations in Maricopa County, where more than 60% of voters had cast their ballots.
The former anchor lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs by more than 17,000 votes.
The flawed printers created ballots too faint for polling on-site tabulators to read. In several areas, lines were held up due to uncertainty.
Since ballots impacted by the printers were transferred to more advanced counters at the headquarters of the elections department, county officials claim that everyone had a chance to vote and that all ballots were counted.
Additionally, Lake’s attorneys assert that a contractor who scans postal votes to get them ready for processing at an off-site location violated the chain of custody for the ballots.
They claim that staff members at the facility returned their mail ballots to the pile rather than replacing them through the proper channels and that there was no paperwork to prove the transfer of ballots.
The county disputes the claim.
Lake, who made the election lies of the former president of the United States the focal point of her campaign, was one of the loudest 2022 Republicans pushing them.
While most other election skeptics around the nation renounced their positions after losing their contests in November, Lake has not.
As an alternative, she requests that the judge declare her the winner or order a new election in Maricopa County.
She has a tough time winning her challenge because she needs to demonstrate that there was misbehavior and that it was done to prevent her triumph and really caused the wrong lady to be named the winner.
One of Maricopa County’s election supervisors, Scott Jarrett, refuted Lake’s attorney’s assertion that printing issues on Election Day interfered with the election process.
According to Jarrett, voters who encountered these issues still had a chance to cast a ballot, and if lines were lengthy at one location, voters might cast their ballots at less crowded locations nearby.
Voters had alternatives regarding how they might take part, according to Jarrett.
Clay Parikh, a witness for the Lake campaign who looked at votes, claimed that 14 of the ballots he looked at had a 19-inch image of the ballot printed on a 20-inch piece of paper, making it impossible for a tabulator to read them.
Parikh claimed that those printer settings had been modified.
It couldn’t have happened by chance, Parikh remarked. “Those are adjustments to the settings.”
Maricopa County’s attorney, Tom Liddy, hypothesized that the photographs in question may have been a little bit smaller due to a printer’s shrink-to-fit function being selected.
Liddy claimed that even if the tabulator rejected such a ballot, it could still be copied and read by the tabulator so that the choices might be tabulated.
A declaration submitted in court by a representative of the company that scans ballots to prepare them for processing was cited by Heather Honey, another witness testifying on behalf of the Lake campaign regarding election procedures.