Judge Fast-Tracks Hearing on Kari Lake’s Final Election Challenge

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A Maricopa County judge on Monday scheduled oral arguments for Friday about whether or not to hold a trial on a claim made in GOP candidate Kari Lake’s lawsuit that contests the 2022 midterm election results.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson on Monday directed attorneys for both parties to file arguments this week to debate in court on Friday, May 12.

In March, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that Lake, a former broadcast journalist for a Fox affiliate station, should receive new consideration on one of several election-related claims. The legal claim that was allowed to proceed alleged that Maricopa County erred in its signature verification process during the November election.

Previously, Thompson dismissed the signature verification claim due to a legal doctrine that prevents delayed lawsuits and bars challenges to election procedures after an election was conducted. A two-day trial that was held in late December resulted in Thompson dismissing Lake’s entire election lawsuit, saying that her team didn’t provide enough evidence.

Thompson also stated that a three-day trial could start May 17 if needed, reported the Arizona Republic. But if the remaining count is dismissed, no trial would be held.

Lake, a rising star in the Republican Party and supporter of former President Donald Trump, has claimed that the November election was fraught with problems—namely in Maricopa County. She has pointed to ballot printer problems that resulted in long Election Day lines that she claims led to the disenfranchisement of Republican voters in the county, while Maricopa officials have dismissed her allegations.

Following a March Arizona Supreme Court ruling, Stephen Richer, the county’s recorder, stood by behind how he and the county handled the midterm election.

“Since the 2020 general election, Maricopa County has won over 20 lawsuits challenging the fairness, accuracy, legality, and impartiality of its election administration,” he said in a statement at the time. “This case will be no different, and will simply add another mark to Lake’s impressively long losing streak.”

By Jack Phillips

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