Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s lawsuit, filed on Friday, alleges that there was about a 25,000 vote discrepancy in the total number of ballots Maricopa County initially reported had been cast in the Nov. 8 midterms elections versus the total it reported later that week.
That number would be significant because it exceeds Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs just over 17,000 vote margin victory over Lake in the contest.
Lake’s attorneys identified the discrepancy as a ballot chain of custody problem in their legal brief filed in state court.
“Highlighting the chain of custody failures … is the fact that two days after Election Day was completed Maricopa County found more than 25,000 additional ballots, whereas properly followed chain of custody procedures would require Maricopa County election officials to know the exact number of ballots submitted by the day after Election, November 9, 2022,” the candidate’s legal team said.
“Specifically, Maricopa County’s public statements concerning remaining ballots to be counted on November 9, 2022, and November 10, 2022, show an increase of approximately 25,000 votes with no explanation of why the number of remaining ballots could increase,” they noted.
The brief states that on Nov. 9 the Maricopa County recorder announced after the county’s voter center closed for the day there were “275,000+” mail-in ballots (referred to as EV ballots in the filing) that had been sorted for scanning and signature verification.
However, the next day Maricopa County election official Celia Nabor contacted the county’s contractor Runbeck Election Services, and the company said it scanned 298,000 ballots, according to Lake’s court filing.
“This unexplained increase in EV ballots was also reflected on the Department of State website between November 9 and November 10. On November 9th, Maricopa County reported to the AZ Department of State that it had counted 1,136,849 ballots and had 407,664 ballots left to be tabulated. That is a total of 1,544,513 ballots,” Lake’s lawyers said.
“By November 11, 2022 Maricopa County reported and the Department of State published that the Maricopa had counted 1,290,669 ballots and had 274,385 ballots left to tabulate, which is a total of 1,565,554 ballots.”
So the difference between Nov. 9 and Nov. 11 was 21,041 votes.
“The shifting numbers of ballots evidence Maricopa County’s failure to account for EV ballots and failure to maintain security and chain of custody for the ballots as required by Arizona Law,” Lake’s team said.
This chart from @KariLake‘s lawsuit shows the total number of ballots cast in midterms, according to Maricopa County, increased by over 21K from the day after the election to the Friday of that week.
The margin of victory in the governor’s race was 17K. pic.twitter.com/alvq2Xh0ik
— Randy DeSoto (@RandyDeSoto) December 13, 2022
The Western Journal reached out to the county regarding the discrepancy, and spokesman Jason Berry responded via email writing, “The court system is the proper place for campaigns challenging the results to make their case.”
“Maricopa County respects the election contest process and 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,” he added.
The Lake campaign identified other issues with the election in Maricopa County including the widespread ballot printer and tabulator issues on Election Day affecting 131 polling locations (59 percent of the total) as a reason the election failed to fulfill Arizona legal requirements.
The county has said 71 sites were impacted, about one-third in all.
Lake argued that since Republicans voted 3-to-1 over Democrats on Election Day, what happened was large-scale vote suppression of her supporters.
2022 Maricopa voters by party and ballot type:
REP: 482k – 38%
DEM: 450k – 36%
OTH: 332k – 26%
REP: 129k – 51%
DEM: 43.6k – 17%
OTH: 78.6k – 31%
Early In Person
REP: 21.7k – 49%
DEM: 9.5k – 21%
OTH: 13.6k – 30%
— The AZ – abc15 – Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) December 7, 2022
Lake told Real America’s Voice host Charlie Kirk on Monday, “Seventy-five percent of people voting on Election Day were voting for me. And then you basically shut down or make it impossible to vote or very difficult to vote at roughly 60 percent of the locations to vote, you’re going to cut into our lead. This is the disenfranchisement of voters in Arizona.”
.@KariLake: “The Board of Supervisors report is trying to diminish & downplay the level of ineptitude & malfeasance on Election Day. We have observers who have testified to what they saw, witnessed, and did on Election Day… and it goes against what the BOS are saying.” pic.twitter.com/WvZlp273t3
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) December 12, 2022
The GOP candidate further stated that her filing includes affidavits from three whistleblowers who work for Maricopa County who said that 90 percent of ballots being flagged for signature mismatches did not go through the curing process.
Her campaign is asking for access to the mail-in ballot envelopes so they can be checked against the signatures on file.
“If we do have a situation where votes are being, phony votes are being put in with no people attached to them, it makes sense that they would want to do that, right?” Lake said. “Because when you call to cure, you’re going to find out there’s no human being on the other end of that ballot.”
Given these and other issues identified in her brief, Lake’s lawsuit asked for a declaration that she won the gubernatorial race or a redo of the election in Maricopa County.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.