A judge in the US state of Arizona has rejected efforts by Republican candidate Kari Lake to reverse the results of her election defeat in the state governor’s race.
In a Saturday decision, Supreme Court Judge Peter Thompson said the court had found no clear and convincing evidence of the widespread misconduct that Lake said affected the results of the 2022 general election.
Lake said she would appeal the verdict.
The 53-year-old, who lost by just over 17,000 votes to Democrat Katie Hobbs, was one of the most vocal Republicans in 2022 to campaign for former President Donald Trump’s election lies, which she made at the heart of her campaign.
While most other voter deniers across the country made concessions after losing their races in November, Lake did not.
Instead, she asked the judge to either declare her the winner or order a new election in Maricopa County, where more than 60 percent of Arizona’s voters live and where she claimed that “hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots infected the election.”
In Saturday’s ruling, the judge acknowledged the “anger and frustration” of voters who had been harassed in the election and found that it had never happened before in the history of the United States to invalidate election results.
“The duty of this court, however, is not just to listen to the public outcry,” the judge continued. “It is about subjecting the plaintiff’s claims and the defendants’ actions to the light of the courtroom and legal review.”
Lake’s witnesses, however, had no personal knowledge of intentional misconduct, he said.
“The court cannot accept speculation or conjecture in place of clear and convincing evidence,” he added.
The findings of the decision were consistent with the verdicts against Abe Hamadeh and Mark Finchem, the unsuccessful Republican candidates for attorney general and secretary of state, respectively, who had also appealed their losses.
A court hearing is scheduled on Thursday to present the results of the recounts in the races for attorney general, superintendent and a seat in the state legislature.