Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) has been certified as the winner of the governor’s race against Kari Lake (R) in Arizona. That happened after Hobbs threatened criminal penalties against all the county clerks who were unwilling to initially certify an election in her favor, despite it being riddled with problems.
I’m old enough that I can remember when “certifying an election” meant that the people in charge of the election had full assurance that the results were for real. But apparently, certification now means that you coerce and threaten your opponents into submission before anyone looks too closely at the results. Fortunately, this one is not over yet.
Kari Lake has refused to concede the election and she has filed a 70-page lawsuit against Katie Hobbs, both as a contestant and as the person running the election. The suit also names the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and the Maricopa County Director of Elections. Since that lawsuit was filed, we’ve learned that Katie Hobbs was also outed in one of Elon Musk’s early drops of Twitter Files. In her official capacity as Arizona Secretary of State (and as a Democrat), Katie Hobbs censored political opinions on Twitter that she didn’t like.
That’s no exaggeration. She’s one of the elected public figures who personally violated the First Amendment of her political opponents. She used her official capacity as a government official to go to Twitter and say, “Censor those people.” Unfortunately, she won’t be kicked out of office forever because of that. The Arizona legislature doesn’t have the spine to take action like that.
But here’s an interesting fact: Kari Lake’s lawsuit against Hobbs has not been thrown out for “lack of standing.” That happened instantly with every Trump lawsuit in the wake of the 2020 stolen election. The court seems to be entertaining her suit at this point.
So, what’s in the lawsuit?
First of all, 72% of voters including many Democrats revealed that they believed Arizona election deprived many thousands of people of their right to vote. That was from a Rasmussen survey in the wake of the disastrous November 8 contest. A clear majority of voters think it was not on the up-and-up.
Back to my earlier comments about “certification.” Certifying an election means that the public can and should have trust in the fact that the results were accurate. Yet 72% of all surveyed voters, including Democrats, think the results were fake. That election was uncertifiable.
Lake’s suit notes that 59% of all the tabulators and ballot printers in Maricopa County failed on Election Day. Voters were not allowed extra time and the polls were not kept open late to accommodate them. We don’t know how many people were denied the right to vote and disenfranchised because of that, but it had to be more than Katie Hobbs’ slender 17,117-vote “victory.”
59% of the county’s machines in 223 precincts did not “fail” on accident on Election Day. Not after all the machines were certified the day before the election. Even if that were true (which no one believes), that alone is reason to hold a do-over election. Especially after the county lied and said that it only happened in 30% of precincts. “Oopsie! We can’t even count the machines that failed but trust us when it comes to counting millions of ballots!”
That lawsuit notes that when counting was paused on election night and then dragged out for a week after the election, they “found” 25,000 additional votes that hadn’t been counted yet. What a coincidence! And it always seems to benefit candidates in one direction, doesn’t it?
Some mystery company called Runbeck Election Services in Maricopa County, according to the suit, was for some reason a drop-off point for early voting ballots that were mailed in or picked up from the Zuckerberg drop boxes. A whistleblower from Runbeck has told Kari Lake’s campaign that there is no chain of custody on 298,942 early voting ballots that the company received. That’s another instance that makes the election completely uncertifiable. Where did those 298K ballots come from? Mars? Actually, maybe they did, but we’ll never know because there is no chain of custody documentation for them as required by law.
Kari Lake’s lawsuit matters to an incredibly significant level. If she wins, and they end up having a do-over election in Arizona, she will work as governor to change the election laws so that it’s “easy to vote and hard to cheat” in future elections. And that needs to happen for the Trump campaign to prevail in 2024 in Arizona.