As Republican Kari Lake appeals a legal defeat in her lawsuit challenging certification of her narrow loss in Arizona’s Nov. 8 gubernatorial election, she is alleging that ballot chain-of-custody issues occurred at Runbeck Election Services, a company that municipalities across the country use for outsourcing election operations.
Lake is appealing a ruling against her last month in her suit against former Secretary of State and current Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and Maricopa County election officials demanding the election result be set aside due to alleged failures and misconduct by the county. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson found that Lake failed to meet a legal standard of clear and convincing evidence that intentional misconduct changed the outcome of the election.
In her appeal, which challenges the legal standard applied by the trial court, Lake alleges that Maricopa County’s “massive violations of law and maladministration” included violating Arizona law’s chain-of-custody requirements by not having Election Day dropbox ballots counted at Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC) before going to Runbeck.
Ryan Heath, an attorney who started The Gavel Project to engage in lawfare against woke ideology, has filed a lawsuit against the judge who dismissed Kari Lake’s election lawsuit. Submitted on Monday, the Writ of Mandamus demands that Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson vacate his ruling and award the election to Lake.
Heath told The Arizona Sun Times he doesn’t really know where Thompson came up with the really high bar he required Lake’s attorneys to prove in order to overturn the election. Thompson required showing by clear and convincing evidence that the misconduct was intentional and meant to change the election, was performed by one of the appropriate people in charge, and that it changed the election. Heath said this was the wrong standard, he should have relied on Reyes v. Cuming, a 1997 Arizona case involving similar circumstances, where signatures on the envelopes were not compared to the voter registration list, violating a non-technical statute.
After Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson dismissed Kari Lake’s lawsuit challenging her loss in the anomaly-plagued Maricopa County midterm election, Lake filed a notice of appeal. She also requested that the Arizona Supreme Court immediately take her case, bypassing the Arizona Court of Appeals for several reasons.
“We’re going to appeal this,” Lake told Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast Tuesday. “We think we have absolute merit with this lawsuit, and we’re going to appeal it and take it even higher.”