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Why Kari Lake’s second failed election lawsuit is worse than her first

Kari Lake’s first election lawsuit was a failure. Her second — in which she was supposed to present evidence of election wrongdoing — was far worse.


As recently as eight days ago, failed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake was acting as if she intended to take office next month, telling the public about the things she’d do after her inauguration. A few days later, the Arizona Republican traveled to — where else? — Mar-a-Lago, where she told an audience she had won, despite the actual results, by as many as 500,000 votes.

That was, of course, utterly bonkers, but as part of the same remarks, Lake also boasted that she had filed the “strongest election lawsuit the country has ever seen.” The losing GOP candidate added that her case is “chock-full of evidence.”

The judge who threw out her case apparently disagreed. NBC News reported:

In a decision Saturday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson, who was appointed by then-Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, found that the court did not find clear and convincing evidence of the widespread misconduct that Lake had alleged had affected the result of the 2022 general election. ... “The Court cannot accept speculation or conjecture in place of clear and convincing evidence,” Thompson said.

At this point, some readers are probably asking, “Wait, didn’t she already lose in court?” The answer is yes, but that was a separate case.

To briefly recap, the far-right election denier first filed suit in April, asking that Maricopa and Pima counties be blocked from using electronic election equipment.

It wasn’t altogether clear why Lake had a problem with electronic election equipment, or why local officials shouldn’t be allowed to utilize the technology, and the case was thrown out a few months later. A judge recently ordered sanctions against Lake’s attorneys in the case, concluding that they filed a “frivolous” and deceptive complaint.

In the wake of her defeat, the Arizonan filed another lawsuit, ostensibly to present evidence of election irregularities. Much of the case was thrown out before the trial even began, but the local state judge agreed to let the Republican’s lawyers at least try to make their case in support of Lake’s conspiracy theories.

Not surprisingly, it quickly became apparent that there was no such evidence. The Arizona Republic’s Laurie Roberts explained in her latest column, “Turns out there was no bombshell evidence proving that some nefarious soul over at Maricopa County schemed up a plan to rob Lake of victory. There wasn’t even a small firecracker. Not even a party popper.”

Democratic Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs will be sworn into office early next week. She and lawyers representing Maricopa County have asked the judge in the case to penalize Lake with sanctions for having filed baseless litigation — on top of the sanctions she’ll already have to pay for having filed her initial baseless election lawsuit.