Kari Lake, the losing Republican candidate for governor of Arizona, was endorsed by Donald Trump, and taking a page out of his playbook, built her candidacy on “the big lie,” that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen him. On Friday she filed a lawsuit contesting the results of an election that was certified by the state this week.
Her lawsuit came after she had spent weeks making a series of public statements and social media posts aimed at undermining trust in the outcome of a contest she lost by more than 17,000 votes to her Democratic opponent, Katie Hobbs. That loss was certified in documents signed on Monday by Ms. Hobbs, who currently serves as secretary of state.
Specifically, Lake maintains that, “If the process was illegitimate, then so are the results.” In what ways she deems it to have been illegitimate is the question. Ms. Hobbs called Ms. Lake’s suit “baseless” in a post of her own on Twitter, describing it as the “latest desperate attempt to undermine our democracy and throw out the will of the voters.”
Ms. Lake sued Ms. Hobbs as well as officials in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and is Arizona’s largest county.
In a play that has by now become all too familiar and stale for Republican losers, Lake’s suit claims that the election was corrupted in Maricopa County and that she should be declared the winner. The 70-page filing relies on a hodgepodge of allegations, ranging from voter and poll worker accounts to poll numbers claiming that voters agreed with Ms. Lake on the election’s mismanagement. Some of what is cited comes not from last month’s election but from the 2020 contest. Other allegations accuse officials of wrongdoing for taking part in efforts to try to tamp down election misinformation.
Just this past week Donald Trump, still unable to accept his loss after two years, called for the termination of the Constitution to overturn the 2020 election and reinstate him to power in a continuation of his election denialism and the pushing of fringe conspiracy theories.
“Do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION?” These are the two alternatives that exist for Trump. “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” he wrote in a post on the social network Truth Social. Not yet content with that, he accused “Big Tech” of working closely with Democrats. “Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!”
It is no secret that Donald Trump seems to know nothing of American history, the Founding Fathers, the Constitution or as we saw during his White House tenure for four years, the daily workings of the presidential office. Yet despite this, candidates who lose in a legitimate election still follow his misguided lead and deny the results and go on to file lawsuits to overturn them.
In reply to Kari Lake’s suit, Fields Mosely the spokesman for Maricopa County said, “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.”
Kari Lake was not the only disgruntled Republican loser in the election. Lawsuits were also filed Friday by two other Arizona Republicans: Mark Finchem, who ran for secretary of state, and Abe Hamadeh, the attorney general candidate. Mr. Hamadeh, who is trailing his opponent by 511 votes in a race that is undergoing a recount, was joined in his lawsuit by the Republican National Committee.
While there had been technical glitches on voting day, The New York Times reviewed dozens of accounts from voters, poll workers, and observers, that were posted by Kari Lake and her allies on social media or recounted in public hearings in the wake of the election. The review found that while some voters said they had been inconvenienced by the long wait lines, they had ultimately been able to cast their ballots.
Sadly, it appears that following Trump’s lead, there is probably no amount of evidence or reassurance that would get some losing Republican candidates to accept a legitimate loss.