An Arizona judge dismisses a lawsuit filed by Kari Lake over her loss in last year’s gubernatorial race, ruling that she failed to prove that the state’s most populous county, Maricopa, had neglected to review voter signatures on mailed election envelopes.
The decision, issued late Monday, is the latest legal setback for Ms. Lake, a Republican who was backed by former President Donald J. Trump in one of the nation’s biggest gubernatorial races in 2022.
During a three-day bench trial last week in State Superior Court in Maricopa County, Ms. Lake’s attorneys argued that election workers worked too fast to properly review the 300,000 signatures accompanying the ballots for mail.
But in a six-page decisionJudge Peter A. Thompson wrote that the process complied with state law, which requires signatures to be checked against those in public voter files, but does not include specific guidelines on how much time a worker must spend on each ballot.
« The plaintiff’s evidence and arguments do not clear the level, » he wrote, adding, « Not one second, not three seconds, and not six seconds: No standard appears in the plaintext of the statute. »
Ms. Lake and her attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday and it was unclear whether she would appeal the ruling.
The case was the latest in a string of court losses over the election of Ms. Lake, who claimed, without evidence, that mail-in voting undermines electoral integrity. Other claims in her lawsuit had previously been rejected by the court.
Ms. Lake has suggested that she might run again. This year, she said she was considering a run for the US Senate seat currently held by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who left the Democratic Party in December to become an independent.
Clint L. Hickman, the chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which helps oversee elections in the county, praised the judge’s decision in a declaration on Monday.
« Wild claims of rigged elections may generate media attention and fundraising calls, but they don’t win court cases, » he wrote. « When ‘bombs’ and ‘smoking guns’ aren’t backed up by fact, they fail in court. »