Kari Lake’s Faith In Arizona’s Election Plummets With Her Chances Of Winning

by | Nov 17, 2022 | Politics

Kari Lake is not taking her projected loss well.The Republican nominee for governor in Arizona tweeted, “Arizonans know BS when they see it” on Monday night after multiple news organizations called the race for Democrat Katie Hobbs. A few hours later, Lake retweeted others who alleged “voter suppression targeting a political party,” and “illegal schemes used by Maricopa County to disenfranchise voters.” AdvertisementThis stance isn’t surprising — Lake also suggested the primary election was rigged, at least until she won it. Now, her campaign’s official stance is that Arizona’s midterms should be re-done in the state’s largest county. “[T]his election was irreparably compromised by voter disenfranchisement,” her campaign’s “war room” tweeted Wednesday. “We don’t care if this is unprecedented. The appropriate thing to do would be to let Maricopa County cast their votes again.” “We don’t care if this is unprecedented. The appropriate thing to do would be to let Maricopa County cast their votes again.”- Kari Lake campaign Twitter accountLake’s claims do reference a real problem in Arizona’s election administration this year: In Maricopa County, the state’s most populous and home to Phoenix, 70 of the county’s 223 polling places dealt with defective settings on ballot printers that left many ballots legible to the human eye, but unable to be read by vote tabulators. Lake and others suggested that the printing and tabulator issues disproportionately affected conservative-leaning precincts, but a Washington Post review found that not to be true.AdvertisementNonetheless, there was also an easy solution: Voters could have simply dropped off those completed ballots into receptacles attached to the tabulation machines, known as “Box 3” or “Door 3,” to be tallied up later at a central counting facility. Thousands of voters opted to use this option, and their votes were counted normally. But Republicans have for years cultivated a distrust of Maricopa County’s election system based on lies about the 2020 election. On Election Day, the state’s GOP chair even shared a graphic urging voters, “DO NOT PUT YOUR BALLOT IN ‘BOX 3’ OR DOOR 3.”Voters listened. “When it gets dropped in the box, that’s how they fix the election,” one man who refused to use the Box 3 slot told HuffPost. Republican candidate for Arizona governor Kari Lake speaks during the Republican Party election night event on Nov. 8, 2022, in Scottsdale, Arizona.The Washington Post via Getty ImagesIn a race decided by only 17,200 votes as of Thursday, the distrust sowed by Republicans may have been decisive, or at least boosted Hobbs’ lead enough to avoid a recount. One Republican attorney raised the prospect of suing county officials over voters who decided not to drop off their ballots, and who instead claim they were ultimately forced to vote on provisional ballots. And multiple right-wing media voices have urged Lake to sue, or otherwise pursue a “re-do” of the election, though that’s a long shot.AdvertisementAn attorney for Lake’s campaign didn’t respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. ‘We Won’Despite the Election Day hiccup, Lake was bullish on her chances when the outcome of the race was still up in the air. In an interview two days after Election Day, she accused Maricopa County officials of “slow-rolling” the ballot counting — because, she said, they were trying to delay the moment when they would finally have to admit that she had won the race. But she didn’t accuse them of cheating.“They don’t want to put out the truth, which is that we won,” Lake said. She added separately, “Katie Hobbs is not winning, she has never been winning; they’re just not counting votes.” The reverse was true: Hobbs was never losing to Lake at any point during the ballot counting process, New York Times data shows.But Lake remained steadfast in her belief that she was winning. “We’re going to win this, and there’s not a darn thing they can do about it, but they’re trying to pour cold water on this movement,” she said.The following day, Lake tweeted about a “bombshell” — namely, that she expected the outstanding votes to be enough in her favor to overtake Hobbs’ lead. That turned out to be wrong.AdvertisementOn Saturday, Lake’s war room Twitter account declared that Lake would be the next governor and that “our confidence hasn’t wavered & we haven’t moved an inch since election day.” The following day, Lake told Maria Bartiromo that she was willing to wait for the votes to be counted, and tha …

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