Failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is being ordered to pay Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs (D) thousands of dollars after her attempt to challenge the result of the November election.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ordered Lake to compensate Hobbs for expert witnesses in the trial who defended election officials from her allegations of misconduct. The order also stipulated there will be an annual interest rate of 7.5% until the amount is paid.
The order comes after Thompson dismissed the Republican’s legal challenge.
Judge Thompson just ordered Kari Lake to pay Governor-elect Katie Hobbs $33,040.50 plus 7.5% interest until paid in full for expert witness testimony, but did *not* sanction Kari Lake or her attorneys. https://t.co/1gbf8UimAd pic.twitter.com/hnWCr3bmDb
— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) December 27, 2022
Lake lost to Hobbs by roughly 17,000 votes in November.
She then spent the next several weeks seeking to contest the results of the election by focusing on issues with ballot printers at polling locations. Eventually, she filed a lawsuit to contest the election.
Before the trial began, Thompson dismissed eight of Lake’s counts in her lawsuit as he stated they did not have proper grounds for an election challenge.
However, he allowed the trial to proceed with the remaining two counts in her lawsuit.
In court, Lake produced expert testimony suggesting the issues with ballot printers could have depressed turnout among Republican voters.
But on Saturday, Thompson rejected her challenge as he stated the expert testimony she provided did “not nearly approach the degree of precision” required to contest the results.
While Lake claimed the issues with ballot printers were the result of misconduct aimed at swinging the election, Thompson noted her “own witness testified before this Court that … printer failures were largely the result of unforeseen mechanical failure.”
Still, he wrote, “There is no doubt that each side believes firmly in its position with great conviction.”
“The fact that plaintiff [Lake] failed to meet the burden of clear and convincing evidence … does not equate to a finding that her claims were, or were not, groundless and presented in bad faith,” Thompson added.
There is nothing wrong with examining an election to ensure it was run fairly. If done properly, it can instill faith in the system. Or if there were nefarious actions, it would reveal them.
Whether or not Lake truly believes her election was stolen, or is just doing this for the show, we may never know. But it seems she was determined to challenge the results if she lost — which makes her challenge look like a hammer in search of a nail.
And if the sting of losing after attacking our election system is not enough to deter candidates from contesting the results, perhaps knowing they could be on the hook for legal fees will deter future failed candidates from filing legal challenges without solid evidence.
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