Arizona Election Trial. Will Justice Prevail Eventually?

Executive Summary

This past November, the Arizona JV led by the inexperienced freshman and total novice Katie Hobbs scored a surprising win over the more experienced Arizona Varsity led by the highly touted (but over-rated) Kari Lake. Hobbs father, known as Big Daddy Hobbs, the lead official in this contest, scoffed at suspicions raised by the Lake team. Four other officials employed by Big Daddy Officiating (You want the right result, they deliver!), declined to comment; however, Big Daddy praised his team’s integrity: “This contest was probably the best officiated I have seen in all my years.” The officiating crew were provided bonuses afterwards. “For a job well done,” Hobbs added. Big Daddy then took a swipe at the Lake Team, saying: “The problem with flat earthers is that they can never be persuaded the earth just isn’t flat.”

Kari Lake filed an appeal with the Social Justice Center for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (SCJEDI); however, the SCJEDI declined to hear Lake’s appeal saying: “Lake is a Republican; therefore, she is a bigot, a flat-earther, and against all equity, diversity, and inclusion. Hate speech from the Lake Team is heretofore banned. We cannot risk Lake’s flat-earth propaganda being spread among impressionable people who might be persuaded the earth is actually flat. Besides, nobody should have been surprised by the result. The Lake Team, despite their superior talent, never had a chance to win against the Hobbs Team with truth on their side.”

The SJCEDI is clearly correct to end Lake’s appeal; we must end hateful free speech today to save free speech in the future. We also admonish Lake for being a bad sport. Justice prevails for all except for flat-earthers who just can’t recognize it.

Thanks also to our sponsor: Big Daddy Officiating. You want the right result, they deliver! Thanks Big Daddy for coming through for us yet again in this instance.

Background

Prior to the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election, Kari Lake, the Republican candidate, asked her opponent Katie Hobbs, the current Secretary of State of Arizona and Democrat gubernatorial candidate, to recuse herself from the 2022 election. This seems a reasonable request, although not legally required. Hobbs refused, and then there were problems during election day that echo back to that decision. One county in Arizona refused to certify the gubernatorial election. 

republicans-in-ariz-county-refuse-to-certify-2022-election

Another election official in Arizona’s Mohave county made the extraordinary claim that he was voting to certify under duress because he was threatened with arrest if he did not certify.  It shows a lack of courage in my opinion, but is a remarkable statement if true.

https://marypatriotnews.com/2022/11/30/mohave-country-board-got-threatened-with-arrest-if-they-refused-to-certify-election-video/

The Arizona Republican state treasurer candidate received 100,000 more votes than Hobbs and 120,000 more than Lake in this same election. Nearly 10% of those who voted for the Republican Treasurer did not vote for the Republican Lake. This seems odd in such a highly partisan political environment of our country today.

Republican candidates for the US House won four of the six Arizona seats while Democrats hold both US Senate seats currently. The current governor is Republican. Republicans had slim majorities in both the state house and state senate prior to the 2022 election and kept their majorities this election. The 2020 presidential race was as close as it can get, with President Biden winning by just 11,000 votes. My point is Arizona is not a Democrat state, and may even be slightly Republican leaning, a state favorable to a solid Republican like Lake.

Republicans also had a clear edge in registered voters, and Lake polled well before the election; Real Clear Politics showed her with a 3.5% lead in pre-election polls. Neither of these last two factors are decisive, but they collectively show the background was favorable for Lake. I was convinced Lake had an outstanding chance of winning.

Further, Lake was an exceptionally good candidate. You might call Dr. Oz or Herschel Walker bad Republican candidates (many on both sides of the aisle have), but Lake is the perfect Republican candidate (from the base’s not necessarily the establishment’s viewpoint): conservative, articulate, knowledgeable, and quick on the draw. Hobbs, on the other hand, was a dreadful candidate; she refused to debate Lake during the campaign, most likely because Lake, a former TV journalist in Phoenix, is polished and well-versed on the important issues. Hobbs correctly assumed it was safer to avoid the debate than to be shown up by Lake. This decision should have cost her dearly but somehow she overcame all of this.

Hobbs actually said on camera: “I don’t want to talk politics to anyone I don’t know” while also avoiding conservative journalist like Project Veritas. Why did the Lake campaign falter in a purple to red state against a weak opponent like Hobbs?

More than a million voters allowed Hobbs to win without confronting her opponent on a debate stage. Hobbs won’t even talk with a Project Veritas reporter in the opening of the video below. Also, in the video her own campaign officials speak candidly about Hobbs own lack of candor as well.

How Long Does it Take to Count?

Arizona took nearly a week to count votes. Many other states counted more votes and reported results on election night. Why does Arizona take so long? This anomaly alone gives one pause, especially when CNN and other one-channel media outlets reflexively repeat: the elections today are the as secure as they ever have been. Taking a week to count votes does not inspire confidence in the Arizona election process.

Two days after the election, AP reported more than 600,000 votes were not yet counted in Arizona. Mail-in ballots dropped off on election day were a large portion of those votes.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11414245/Votes-Arizona-Nevada-not-fully-counted-WEEK.html

By Thursday afternoon, election workers in Arizona’s largest county, Maricopa, had yet to start processing the approximately 290,000 mail-in ballots that were dropped off at polling locations on Election Day. 

The Saturday after election day, 320,000 votes remained to be counted.

320,000 votes left to be counted in Maricopa County (azfamily.com)

Why the delay in beginning to commence to get started counting? We learned more about the custody of such ballots after election officials testified last week.

Sunday, five days after the election, 11% of the vote was yet to be counted and the race was still not called. Why is Arizona a question mark in every election now?

Finally, the week after the election, Hobbs was declared the winner. She won by about 17,000 votes out of more 2.5 million votes cast, relatively close, but a clear victory.

To summarize, here’s what it appears the situation is the moment:

The Dispute Begins

“Somebody said, ‘Oh, just be graceful, you lost.’ No, we didn’t lose. If I would have lost I would be graceful. But I don’t walk away when I’ve been the victim of a crime,” Lake said.

“I believe we won in a landslide at the ballot box, but we have crooks, criminals and clowns running our elections in Arizona,” Lake said.

Is Kari Lake an election denier who simply cannot accept that she lost fair and square? That’s one possibility. However, what if she is on the right track? If you were Lake (or President Trump, perhaps) and believe results are suspect, aren’t you morally responsible for challenging them?

Why do so many reflexively assume Lake is a bad sport without examining facts of this case? She can’t think for herself and is blindly following Trump off a cliff? Come on. Let’s think a bit deeper than this. Steve Deace often says there is an “invincible ignorance” in our nation today. Facts, data, and logic simply cannot penetrate that invincible shield. Once settling on a point of view, people believe what they believe, no matter what, and unfortunately, in today’s world, there are enough people on TV and the internet to support whatever view they want to believe; it is comfortable to believe only those confirming your own beliefs.

However, is it any less possible Lake was, in fact, cheated? I am not telling you what to believe. I will consider both sides myself. I just want to lay out the facts, so you can decide for yourself. Shouldn’t we all want to know what happened? If the claim is true, isn’t that a big problem? Furthermore, if the claim is true and is also swept under the rug because not enough want to pursue it, isn’t that an even bigger problem?

I provided conditions above that give me pause about the results, although I admit they merely raise suspicion. They are not enough for court. I don’t know all the facts myself. Nobody but the guilty, if there are any, knows what actually happened. However, we do know it is at least reasonable to ask: was the race fairly decided? We should have assurance the democratic process actually works. Otherwise, what form of government does our country actually have? The margin was very close, suspicions are not totally unfounded (there IS smoke), and there are actual facts to support Lake’s claim. Lake herself laid out an actual case with particulars that, if proven, would indeed support her claim.

If she were indeed cheated, wouldn’t that alarm you, whether you supported her or not? If her claims are ridiculous, shouldn’t you at least assure yourself on that point? Otherwise, you might be one of the invincibly ignorant who just can’t be bothered with facts, data, and logic. The article below makes the point that Lake’s suit “is riddled with ridiculous claims”. I read the article three times seeking the ridiculous claims. None are specified. In other words, Lake’s suit is full of ridiculous claims that cannot be specifically identified. How does that work? I have been accused of being a flat-earther for simply giving these ridiculous claims credibility. But is the article itself the true flat earth logic? It professes something in the title, but provides no data or facts to support that claim.

https://news.yahoo.com/kari-lake-files-lawsuit-riddled-022000429.html

This is as close as Yahoo comes to providing facts on the ridiculous-ness of Lake’s claims:

There are multiple falsehoods and distorted assertions included in the lawsuit that echo the failed legal challenges brought by former President Donald Trump’s team to overturn the 2020 election.

Yahoo also assures us: “Maricopa County officials maintain that no one was disenfranchised.” Is that good enough? Nobody at all disenfranchised among millions of Arizona voters? How can they be so certain? They also support Hobbs decision not to recuse herself:

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the Democratic governor-elect, presided over the official certification of Arizona’s vote, to the outcry of some Republicans like Lake. Hobbs has maintained she carries no conflict of interest as former secretaries of state have certified their own election wins and because her office does not count the votes.

However, the legal standard for recusal is based on the appearance of a conflict of interest, not the actual fact. Given the scrutiny of U.S. elections the past twenty years, wouldn’t it have been better for Hobbs to have recused herself from playing any part in officiating results which elevated her to governor? There is no appearance of conflict here?

Again, there is nothing substantial in this article from MSNBC, another of the one-channel media: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/nobody-believes-it-kari-lake-files-lawsuit-declaring-herself-the-winner/ar-AA156OH0

Here is something I know with absolute 100% certitude. If Lake had won and Hobbs was making the same claims, it would be taken seriously by Yahoo, MSNBC, and the rest. After all, look at how they deferred to Stacy Abrams the last four years and Al Gore, the last twenty. For more on this, see posts from the past two months:

when-there-are-no-consequences-the-corruption-continues
mid-term-2022-takeaways
will-the-real-election-deniers-stand-up

Trial is Held

Lake filed her lawsuit on Friday December 9. She had five days after election certification to file. A judge quickly ruled a trial could be held to consider Lake’s claims. Due to pressing nature of the claim, the trial date was fast tracked being held just before Christmas and lasting two days.

So, what were the so-called ridiculous claims, the claims that Yahoo, MSNBC, and the other one-channel media refused to directly address? They are laid out below in a series of Twitter threads which summarized the highlights quite nicely:

I would have used the word “phony” instead of “illegal”. Thousands of phony ballots are certainly a big problem if proven. The duration of the counting provides more opportunities for illegal ballots to be injected, and this is one reason that I focus on the lengthening of the process.

The legal interpretation of these two claims regarding vote tabulators mattered a good deal to the trial’s final result. These failures (not just a few failures, but 132 failures) certainly impacted the election. It should not matter if they were accidental or intentional. Further, how could this not be impactful or even decisive in a close election?

The Lake campaign also discussed the settings on the vote tabulators: 19-inch ballots fed into tabulators which expect 20-inch ballots were rejected.

Next, we have chain of custody issues:

The election officials were asked about this chain of custody during the trial, and had no good answer. It was always somebody else’s job, not theirs it seemed.

But wait there is more on signatures:

The signature claim was not allowed into trial but the judge, but this is an issue that arises consistently. It appears to be a proven go-to for those wanting to alter results. The percentage of votes rejected for mismatches was a constant threshold for years. The number rejected today is almost nil. Why would the standard be lowered?

This is another subtlety that seems to have become part of the playbook. How many voters grew impatient or did not have the time to wait and therefore didn’t vote? Lake’s team tried to remedy this, but their request was, of course, denied.

https://www.newsweek.com/fact-check-claims-maricopa-voters-disenfranchised-due-faulty-machines-1758346

Amid this, Lake’s campaign team and others presented a lawsuit to extend voting hours, alleging claims of malfunctioning equipment. The outcome of that suit, some believe, effectively blocked Republicans from voting.

Here is a bit more on the details of the lawsuit:

https://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/kari-lake-files-70-page-lawsuit-against-top-arizona-election-officials
https://thefederalistpapers.org/us/kari-lake-officially-files-70-page-lawsuit-challenging-2022-election-details
https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/12/breaking-kari-lake-files-70-page-lawsuit-throw-fraudulent-arizona-midterm-election-results-claims-hundreds-thousands-illegal-ballots-59-precinct-machine-failures-election-day-t/

Trial Decided

Before the trial, the judge ruled that signature verification could not be examined and he set a high bar with regard to showing not only that voting machines were a problem, but in two days show that the Hobbs campaign was indeed responsible. This high bar proved to be too much to overcome on these counts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwDKTPSktqI (Steve Turley)

The following evidence was provided during the trial:

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/elections/2022/12/23/kari-lake-trial-election-challenge-arizona-governor-ends-judge-decides/69752580007/

Baris, who runs Florida-based Big Data Poll, said that he asked 813 Maricopa County residents who voted on Nov. 8 about their experiences and found that 32% had some sort of issue with voting.

Adding in all the pertinent data and taking interviews of voters into account, he concluded that the polling-site problems disenfranchised 15,000 to 29,000 voters. Based on day-of ballot returns, the analysis showed that if overall turnout had been 2.5% higher, Lake would have won.

In the end, the judge did not consider the polling and statistics to be significant. As someone with an advanced degree in statistics, I disagree. A small sample can, within a small margin error, accurately predict the numbers for the whole electorate. A third of the voters in the sample had issues. This is troubling to say the least. The second point that Lake needed 2.5% more voters on election day to prevail is significant also. If the works can be gummed up and a small number of voters, just one of out every forty can be convinced to give up and go home without voting, the election has been altered.

Furthermore, the judge allowed Lake’s request to examine a random sample of ballots. This sample showed 48 of 113 (42.4%) had problems.

KARI LAKE TRIAL: 48 of 113 Ballots Reviewed During Kari Lake Challenge Were 19-Inch Ballots on 20-Inch Paper — THAT JAMMED THE MACHINES ON ELECTION DAY

Here is a summary of key testimony from the trial:

As recounted above, 275,000 mail-in ballots were dropped off on the day of the election. Lake said the day after the election these votes would swing heavily in her favor and they would prove decisive in the final result. Lake’s team showed during the trial that ballots were not counted before being transported to the counting centers. They were counted after they were transported, but there is no way to ensure that the number of ballots did not change (was increased or decreased) during transportation. As our one-channel media says: this was the cleanest election ever. Nothing to see here.

How long would it take to exclude votes for Lake in this large batch? The length of time it takes to count ballots is a big factor here.

Testimony provided during the trail also showed that the same problem with vote tabulators happened during the 2020 primary and general election as well as in the 2022 primary and general election. We can’t get this right or the result harms Republicans who are more likely to vote on election day?

This is just RIDICULOUS – YouTube (short clip: testimony on tabulator problems)

In the end, on Christmas Eve, the judge ruled against Lake, although Lake intends to appeal.

Here is raw footage from the trial, joined in progress: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KaXio1J0ko

Flat Earthers

Flat-earthers will continue to believe forever that the earth is flat. The question I pose is: who are the flat-earthers? Who are the ones with the invincible ignorance? The trial is over and Lake loses, but was the bar was set too high? We can have all sorts of problems with the counting of votes, but if it is not proven to be intentional and no patsy is provided to take the fall, there is no basis to overrule? If there is gross incompetence or willful tampering which cannot be pinned on an individual beyond a shadow of a doubt, the election must stand? I continue to have doubts. Lake’s lawyers made a compelling case.


Protracted vote counts have become a staple of elections in Arizona, a state where the overwhelming majority of votes are cast by mail and many people wait until the last minute to return them. As Arizona has morphed from a GOP stronghold to a competitive battleground, the delays have increasingly become a source of national anxiety for partisans on both sides.

After opening big leads early on election night, when only mail ballots returned early were reported, Democrats saw leads dwindle as more Republican ballots were counted. Then the ballots were slow counted, subtle problems introduced, seemingly accidentally, until the right mix is found and the final result, although narrowly decided, goes the right way.

Maybe these claims can be considered again on appeal. Maybe more evidence can be presented, and perhaps they can finally examine the problem of signature verification. Even if appeal is denied, we can say Lake presented a strong case. Now, we just need more people to take notice.

I close the post with Dr. Steve Turley’s analysis of the decision. In his opinion, the case was made, but the judge’s standard was set too high. He mentions also a recall effort which is already taking steam and could come to pass in 2023:

Kari Lake Scores Legal VICTORY as ‘RECALL KATIE HOBBS’ Begins!!! – YouTube

Update 1/23:

A few weeks after the original post, this case is still not settled.

https://www.newsweek.com/kari-lake-shares-election-update-court-appeals-1773625

The Arizona Court of Appeals has agreed to expedite Kari Lake‘s case challenging the results of the state’s November gubernatorial election, which saw the Republican candidate trail her Democrat rival, Katie Hobbs.

The court case, initially scheduled for March this year, will be heard by judges on February 1, giving Hobbs—who’s already been sworn in as Arizona’s newly elected governor—until January 17 to write why Lake’s petition to the court should be rejected.

The state’s Court of Appeals agreed to treat Lake’s case as a “special action petition,” as the Trump-endorsed candidate had requested, in a brief order issued on January 9 and made public the following day.

The following article summarizes the Hobbs response which was submitted ast week:

https://kdminer.com/news/2023/jan/21/arizona-gov-hobbs-ask-court-toss-lakes-election-ap/

  • Hobbs lawyers’ noted: “Indeed, Lake’s witnesses could not identify a single voter who was unable to vote because of tabulator issues”. I think this is a rather unfair analysis. The Lake Team had little time to put together a defense and it seems quite obvious that delays in voting would result in people leaving. Also, as noted above a poll which showed nearly a third of voters had issues during voting was presented during the trial.
  • Hobbs lawyers’ also said regarding tabulator errors: “voters were given the choice of putting the unreadable ballots into a sealed box to be counted downtown or to go to another nearby polling place. So, they said, no one was denied the right to vote”. This seems like a more reasonable argument, but we all know that not everyone gets the message in such instances and there are still more potential issues with “chain of custody” for these ballots.
  • Also: “Under Lake’s preferred standard, elections would be routinely nullified where unforeseen and unintentional technical issues occurred in some places affecting some number of voters,” This seems a bit disingenuous. The margin was close and the number of tabulators with problems was very high. The fact that errors may have been unintentional shouldn’t even be a factor. We may suspect that they were intentional, but even unintentional errors, especially a significantly large number of them, can swing an election.
  • Also: “Lake did not establish that the Maricopa County defendants engaged in any misconduct regarding chain of custody documentation, let alone misconduct that would alter the results of the 2022 gubernatorial election,” The problem again was not that this was misconduct but that the process was sloppy. Election officials could not show a chain of custody, leaving open many opportunities to tamper with ballots, especially given the week it took to count ballots.
  • Finally, Hobbs lawyers: “did not dispute the declarations of three people who were involved at the first level of the review process who claimed that they had flagged anywhere from 15% to 40% of the signatures, and that many of them ultimately were accepted. But Khanna said that’s leaving out critical facts. Khanna said these were “first-level reviewers” who had access to only a limited number of signatures in a voter’s registration record. And their task, she said, is to flag potential mismatches for higher-level review.” That begs the question of how the second-level reviewers ruled.

We will see next week how this all falls out. Lake continues the fight thankfully, and if she does not win in court perhaps she can win in a recall election.

One thought on “Arizona Election Trial. Will Justice Prevail Eventually?

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