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A state judge in Arizona has given GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake a victory over Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the declared winner in the race. On Friday, the Maricopa County judge signed off on a request from Lake, a former Phoenix-area newscaster, to inspect random ballots as her legal case involving the conduct of the November election continues.
Judge Peter Thompson approved three out of four requests Lake’s legal team made, granting her permission to review 50 random “ballot on demand” printed ballots cast on Election Day, as well as another 50 early ballots cast from “six separate Maricopa County batches.” Furthermore, Thompson approved her to examine another 50 random ballot-on-demand printed ballots that were marked as spoiled.
However, the judge rejected a request from the GOP candidate to inspect 50 randomly selected early ballot envelopes.
Townhall reported that the ballot inspections are to commence on Tuesday.
Lake’s team praised the ruling. “I am thankful to Judge Peter Thompson and his team for the work they do, and we are confident that given the opportunity, we will expose this election for the sham it was,” Lake said in a statement.
Last week, she said that “if the process was illegitimate, then so are the results.” She has yet to concede to Hobbs, though state officials, including her own office, have certified her as the winner by about 17,000 votes.
Earlier this week, Lake provided an update to former White House strategist Steve Bannon about her lawsuit on his top-rated Real America’s Voice podcast.
Lake believes her lawsuit will prevail and said she’s willing to “take it all the way to the Supreme Court” if necessary.
“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 told Steve Bannon on the War Room podcast. “We’ll take it all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to. We will not stop fighting.”
“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 told Bannon in an earlier interview regarding her case.
“We’ll take it all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to. We will not stop fighting,” she said.
U.S. District Judge John Tuchi of the District of Arizona rejected a Lake lawsuit earlier this year and then moved to fine her attorneys and those of Republican Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem last week.
“Imposing sanctions, in this case, is not to ignore the importance of putting in place procedures to ensure that our elections are secure and reliable,” Tuchi wrote in his order. “It is to make clear that the Court will not condone litigants ignoring the steps that Arizona has already taken toward this end and furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation about, and distrust in, the democratic process.
“It is to send a message to those who might file similarly baseless suits in the future,” Tuchi’s order noted further.
Lake’s team responded that Tuchi sounded like an “angry Obama appointee.”
“This case is not about money or gain,” said Lake campaign spokesperson Ross Trumble in a statement to media outlets. “It was essentially a public interest lawsuit seeking electoral integrity.
“It is very, very rare to sanction a party in public interest suits. All in all, this reads like an angry Obama appointee who wants to send a message. The message is if you lose, shut up and don’t come to court. The message is not that you lost a case or acted in bad faith,” he added.
Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz was one of the attorneys who joined the Lake legal team, telling Law & Crime this month that he did so in support of election integrity.
“I have not challenged the results of any Arizona elections. I have given legal advice about the future use of machine counting by companies that refuse to disclose the inner workings of their machines. I support transparency in elections,” he said.