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In a ruling, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah dismissed Kari Lake’s lawsuit seeking to inspect 1.3 million early voting ballot envelopes from the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial race.
Hannah’s decision, articulated in his ruling filed on Thursday, emphasized that revealing the ballot envelopes and their signatures would jeopardize the integrity of future ballot verification processes. “The broad right of electoral participation outweighs the narrow interests of those who would continue to pick at the machinery of democracy,” Hannah stated in his ruling.
The lawsuit, initiated by Lake in April against the office of County Recorder Stephen Richer, cited the Arizona Public Records Law. However, Judge Hannah highlighted concerns about potential widespread fraud and the invasion of voters’ privacy, as the envelopes contain personal information like names, addresses, and phone numbers. He also raised alarms about the risk of voter harassment and the erosion of public trust in elections. “It creates the real possibility of voter harassment,” Hannah noted, adding that this could damage confidence in the electoral system.
Lake, a former TV anchor and a staunch ally of former President Trump has been embroiled in legal battles since her narrow defeat by just over 17,000 votes. She has lost two trials challenging the election outcome, including claims of misconduct in signature verification in Maricopa County.
Recently, Lake announced her candidacy for Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s seat, potentially setting up a contest against Rep. Ruben Gallego and possibly Sinema herself.