By Jack Phillips
Republican Arizona candidate Kari Lake indicated that she will attempt to take her election-related lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary after Arizona officials certified the election for her Democrat opponent, Katie Hobbs.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday night, Lake indicated that she will file a challenge on Friday, again claiming that voters were disenfranchised amid Election Day problems. “This isn’t just about Republicans and Democrats—it’s about everyone’s Right to Vote on Election Day,” she wrote.
In another interview this week with Salem News, Lake indicated that she could not file a lawsuit to contest the Arizona gubernatorial election because “it has to be certified” first. The former television anchor issued that statement in response to complaints about why she hadn’t filed the challenge yet.
“We’re ready to go with what we believe to be an exceptional lawsuit. And we believe we will be victorious in that lawsuit,” Lake, who has not conceded the Arizona gubernatorial race, also told Steve Bannon on his WarRoom show this week. “We’ll take it all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to. We will not stop fighting,”
During a court hearing on Dec. 3, a Maricopa County official told a judge that a previous lawsuit filed by Lake requesting records from Maricopa County should be thrown out. Deputy County Attorney Joseph Branco told Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Scott Blaney that while Lake is entitled to see those records, she has to wait.
“County agencies receive requests from inmates who believe that the records they are going to receive will lead to their liberty,” he said, according to local media reports.
Lake has frequently criticized officials in Maricopa County after they revealed on Nov. 8 that there were vote-tabulator problems in dozens of polling locations and blamed the issue on a printer error. Arizona’s Attorney General’s office later sent a letter to Maricopa and demanded information after voters complained to the office’s election integrity subdivision.
Maricopa County officials have acknowledged problems with tabulation equipment, saying the problem affected 30 percent of all voting centers in the county and an estimated 17,000 ballots. The issue with the tabulator printer was resolved later on Nov. 8, officials said, denying claims that Election Day voters were disenfranchised.
On Election Day, the officials said that voters could place their ballots in a secure box to be counted later. Other options included “checking out” of the poll site and casting a ballot at another location, or utilizing an early ballot if one was possessed.
But when Lake files her election lawsuit later this week, it may be too late to overturn the results. On Monday, Arizona officials certified the Nov. 8 election results that cemented the win for Hobbs, the secretary of state.
“Arizona had a successful election, but too often throughout the process, powerful voices proliferated misinformation that threatened to disenfranchise voters,” Hobbs said during the event.
“Democracy prevailed, but it’s not out of the woods. … 2024 will bring a host of challenges from the election denial community that we must prepare for, but for now, Arizonans stand proud knowing that this election was conducted with transparency, accuracy, and fairness in accordance with Arizona’s election laws and procedures,” added Hobbs.
Before the midterms, Hobbs faced calls to recuse herself from duties as Arizona’s secretary of state, which doubles as the top election official. During Monday’s ceremony, she certified the election for herself.
Last month, Hobbs sued Republican-controlled Cochise County for not certifying election results in the county after several supervisors said they wanted to review testimony. Ultimately, the Cochise supervisors voted to certify the results last week amid concerns that by not doing so, it could jeopardize a newly Republican-controlled House seat.
All of Arizona’s counties, meanwhile, started an automatic recount of the General Election races on Wednesday for Arizona’s attorney general’s race and the Arizona superintendent of public instruction.
Hobbs had petitioned the Maricopa County Superior Court to begin an automatic statewide recount required by law 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 votes out of 2.5 million cast.
The Associated Press and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.