Kari Lake’s Request to Examine Ballot Envelopes Rejected by Judge

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Kari Lake’s Request to Examine Ballot Envelopes Rejected by Judge

Kari Lake’s request to inspect 1.3 million signed ballot envelopes was rejected by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah Jr. on Thursday.

The news is another setback for Lake: her third legal battle related to the previous year’s election.

Hannah expressed concerns that granting access to ballots would compromise the integrity of future elections’ ballot verification processes.

“The broad right of electoral participation outweighs the narrow interests of those who would continue to pick at the machinery of democracy,” Hannah wrote.

The Hill reported:

According to the filing obtained by The Arizona Republic, 84 percent of the ballots processed during last year’s general election cycle were early ballots.

The County Recorder’s office was responsible for verifying the ballots.

The office found 16,000 inconsistent signatures but later determined that 14,200 of them were lawful voting citizens. The remaining 1,800 envelopes were never opened or counted.

Lake filed the case in April against County Recorder Stephen Richer’s office under the Arizona Public Records Law.

Hannah’s ruling said giving the ballots to Lake creates a “risk of widespread fraud where none exists at present” since the envelopes contain personal information like names, addresses, and phone numbers of voters.

The Associated Press noted that in Arizona, early voting envelopes serve as an affidavit in which voters declare that they are registered to vote and haven’t already voted in that election.

It also creates the “real possibility of voter harassment,” Hannah said, adding that it could corrode public confidence in the electoral process.

The 12-page ruling detailed how during the case’s trial in September, a former election worker testified about how she received threats after videos were posted online showing her preparing equipment for a subpoena from the state Senate’s review of the 2020 election.

Lake had lost two trials that challenged her loss to Hobbs last year, when she lost the race by just more than 17,000 votes.

She claimed in her second trial, dismissed in May, that there was misconduct in signature verification in Maricopa County, home to nearly 4.5 million people.

The former TV anchor announced in October that she was entering the race for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (I-Ariz.) seat and would likely face off against Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) and Sinema, if the incumbent announces she will run for reelection.

Lake has been a vocal supporter and ally of former President Trump and earned his endorsement shortly after announcing her bid.

Arizona — one of a few states that helped decide the 2020 presidential election where elections have become increasingly close — has been at the center of political controversy after election results have been contested in previous cycles and as voters gear up for another tight election next year.

READ: Kari Lake Says Biden Is About to Be Replaced, Names Person Making Moves

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