By Samantha Flom
Arizona Republican Kari Lake is launching a grassroots “ballot-chasing” operation to boost Republican turnout in future Arizona elections and “paint the state red.”
“We’re going to start rolling up our sleeves and playing by the same rules [Democrats] play by,” Lake said while surrounded by supporters at a May 23 press conference in Phoenix.
“And when you get a fed-up mom who plays by those rules, watch out, because we’re not letting this happen again,” she added.
Noting that nearly 90 percent of Arizona voters are on the permanent early voter list, Lake explained that her team, led by Strong Communities Action Chairwoman Merissa Hamilton, would be doing everything in their power to sway those voters and “take back” Arizona.
“If we’ve got to work in their rigged system, we’ll work in their rigged system,” she said.
As part of the new initiative, Lake said volunteers would be ramping up their door-knocking and voter registration efforts and assisting voters with getting to the polls.
“We are going to contact every voter, make sure that if they have a ballot sitting on their counter, we help them get that ballot to where it needs to go,” she said. “And we’re going to register … everybody we can to vote, and we’re going to turn our state around. We’re going to take it back because this government belongs to ‘we the people.’”
Lake’s new operation comes on the heels of an Arizona judge’s May 22 decision to toss her lawsuit challenging the results of the state’s 2022 gubernatorial election, which she maintains she rightfully won.
Lake’s initial lawsuit cited several election administration problems in Maricopa County as evidence that the election was fixed, including misprinted ballots, the comingling of counted and uncounted ballots, and a lack of proper signature verification for mail-in ballots.
Although the candidate’s claims were rejected by the lower courts, the Arizona Supreme Court revived a portion of her case in March, finding that the Court of Appeals had erred in its dismissal of her signature verification claims.
Among the claims Lake’s legal team made in arguing her case was that the signatures on hundreds of thousands of Maricopa County ballots were reviewed in less than three seconds by election workers—a fact she said proved they were not properly verified.
“It takes a full second for the ballot image to pop up on the screen,” she noted at her press conference, adding that some workers were approved to verify signatures remotely without any observers present.
And while she acknowledged that the latest ruling was not what she was hoping for, she added that she was not giving up the fight.
“There is going to be an appeal. And I’m not prepared to tell you right now exactly what our path is because we are looking at several paths—not one, not two, several. But you’ve not seen the last of our case.”
Despite her continued focus on her election challenge, when asked if she was considering running for another office, Lake advised that she had not ruled the possibility out.
One potential path that she has previously expressed interest in is running for U.S. Senate—specifically, the seat currently held by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.
In December, Sinema made waves in Washington when she left the Democratic Party. Rather than switch parties to become a Republican, however, she chose to register as an Independent and continue caucusing with the Democrats. And earlier this month, she doubled down on her determination to remain Independent, stating that she was “absolutely” done with both parties.
As of yet, Sinema has not declared whether she will seek another term in 2024, though she may have a fight on her hands if she does, with Democratic U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego vying for the Democratic vote and Lake a possible contender on the Republican side.
“I am seriously considering a run for Senate, yes absolutely,” Lake told One America News in April. “Just because they stole an election, we’re so dangerous to them, I’m so dangerous to the status quo and this rotten swamp that they’re willing to steal an election to stop me and our movement.
“I’m not letting them get away with that,” she added. “We’re not going away. And so, I am seriously considering a run for Senate.”
Earlier this month, Lake further fueled the speculation of a potential Senate bid by meeting with six Republican senators.
At the May 23 press conference, Lake noted that she felt it was important that the voters felt accurately represented by their elected officials in Washington.
“I’m really worried about our people here in Arizona and having representation, having somebody who is a … public servant representing them here and making sure that we are doing everything we can to fight for our state, not fighting for special interests, not fighting for some lobbying firm back in D.C.
“We need people who are fighting for Arizonans, and so it’s on the back of my mind. I’ll be honest, I am considering it.”