By Jack Phillips
A judge overseeing Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s electoral lawsuit ordered Lake, Secretary of State and Arizona Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors officials, and others to appear at a court hearing on Tuesday.
Judge Peter Thompson, in issuing the (pdf) order, wrote that the court has “reviewed” Lake’s “verified statement of election contest” and said the “matter will be set on an accelerated basis.” Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer and Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates were also ordered to attend the hearing, which will start at 2 p.m. ET.
It comes as Lake stated Monday that her lawsuit is, in part, fueled by alleged whistleblower claims who have come forward.
“We’ve had three whistleblowers from Maricopa County reach out and say the system is seriously flawed,” Lake told Just the News on Monday, days after the suit was filed with a Maricopa County court. “They were throwing out tens of thousands of signatures saying they were scribbles that in no way matched. But somewhere between there, the ballots were being completely tossed out and they got looped back into the system and counted as if they were fine.”
Lake said that about 25,000 “additional ballots and early voting ballots were discovered two days after Election Day,” adding that they “just showed up.” She continued: “It shows the whole system has serious problems.”
“We believe that up to 135,000 ballots were pushed through that should not have been pushed through,” Lake added, without elaborating. “We’re asking a judge to let us take a look at all of the envelopes and compare signatures, so that we can find out for sure how many bad, fraudulent ballots got through in that way, of basically cheating or breaking the rules.”
The Epoch Times has contacted Maricopa County’s election division about Lake’s claims on Monday.
Maricopa County spokesman Fields Moseley told Reuters that the court system is the appropriate venue for campaigns to challenge election results. Moseley stated that Maricopa’s election division “looks forward to sharing facts about the administration of the 2022 General Election and our work to ensure every legal voter had an opportunity to cast their ballot.”
Sophia Solis, a spokesperson for the secretary of state’s office, told The Associated Press that Lake’s lawsuit was being reviewed.
In her lawsuit (pdf) filed Dec. 9, Lake is asking to be declared the winner of the race or for a new vote to be held in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous. Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs, the Democrat secretary of state, last month narrowly defeated Lake in the general election by about 17,000 votes.
Hobbs’ campaign, in a statement issued on Friday, criticized Lake’s lawsuit as a “nuisance” and suggested it would be thrown out.
“Kari Lake needs attention like a fish needs water—and independent experts and local election officials of both parties have made it clear that this was a safe, secure, and fair election,” the statement read. “Arizonans made their voices heard and elected Katie Hobbs as their governor. No nuisance lawsuit will change that, and we remain laser-focused on getting ready to hit the ground running on Day One of Katie Hobbs’ administration next year.”
Lake stated that long lines and printer issues adversely affected Election Day voters on Nov. 8. Maricopa officials that day confirmed there were printer errors and told voters to place their ballots inside dropboxes, while they later said no voters were disenfranchised.
“Lake received the greatest number of votes and is entitled to be named the winner,” her lawsuit claimed. “Alternately, the election must be re-done in Maricopa County to eliminate the effects of maladminstration and illegal votes on the vote tallies reported by Maricopa County.”
In November, Lake also filed a public records request to seek additional information about both counted and uncounted ballots that might have been mixed during the election. Following the Nov. 8 midterms, she has also often posted videos of voters who gave accounts of long lines and other alleged election maladministration in Maricopa County.
Other than Lake, Abe Hamadeh—a Republican who is running for attorney general, and Mark Finchem—a Republican running for secretary of state, filed separate lawsuits on Dec. 9. Candidates have five days following certification to contest an election under Arizona state law.