Kari Lake's Madcap Election Denial Theatre Of The Absurd!
Kari Lake's post-election nuisance campaign continues this week. A very indulgent judge provided Lake one last chance to prove that she should serve as Arizona's next governor despite losing the election to actual Governor-elect Katie Hobbs.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson gave the pathetic souls serving as Lake's legal counsel five-and-a-half hours over Wednesday and Thursday to show that both the ballot-on-demand printers were deliberately interfered with and that the "chain of custody" for about 300,000 ballots wasn't properly maintained. They needed to provide actual evidence, not unhinged, debunked conspiracy theories. They'd also need to prove that even if these perfidious events occurred, they altered the outcome of the race. Most of the people Lake has produced who complained about voting center printer malfunctions still ended up voting. Lake claims that an unknown number of people just gave up and left without voting. The problem with an "unknown number" is that you can't prove how many of these hypothetical people would've voted for Lake and not Hobbs had they stayed and, most importantly, existed.
The attorneys for Maricopa County and Hobbs also received five-and-half hours to dismantle Lake's challenges. It's unclear what they planned to do with the remaining five hours and 15 minutes.
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Lake's star witness Wednesday was Clay Parikh, who has spoken at Mike Lindell's election denial events. Lake's attorney had wanted to submit Parikh as an "expert witness," but the judge informed him that "Arizona doesn't do that." Parikh insisted there was no way a 19-inch ballot could've been printed on 20-inch paper "by accident." Even a paper jam is evidence of determinism for this guy.
\u201cLake's attorney asks how Parikh determined it was a 19-inch ballot printed on 20-inch paper. Parikh responds that he took a ruler and measured it himself.\u201d— Democracy Docket (@Democracy Docket) 1671644246
Then there was Mark Sonnenklar, who was "a roving attorney in the Republican National Committee's election integrity program for the primary and the general election," so what you might simply call a "crackpot." He claims he personally observed very long lines on Election Day and encountered "angry and frustrated voters."
During cross examination, Hobbs's attorney asked Sonnenklar, "Your declaration in this case concludes that 64 of 223 vote centers had long lines on Election Day ... So you concluded that more than 70 percent of vote centers on Election Day did not have long lines?"
Sonnenklar, flummoxed by all this math, replied, "You can infer that." Everyone should've just gone home at this point, but Sonnenklar insisted that without the long lines, Lake would've prevailed. Maricopa County's attorney asked if Sonnenklar had a shred of evidence for this claim or for his accusation that there was a deliberate intent to rig the election.
"It's just common sense, sir," Sonnenklar said. "Common sense tells me that there was a cover up here."
Lake's attorney had argued that the election results should be set aside because Hobbs was somehow involved in "a secret censorship operation set up by the government that would make [George] Orwell blush." That sentence is terrible. It's not like the "secret censorship operation" is a woman's bare bottom.
Lake would prefer that Thompson just give her the election, as if that's something that happens, but she'd also settle for a brand-new election in Maricopa County, where she was told to fuck off by a margin of 37,638 votes. Lake wants the judge to appoint a "special master" — just like Trump! — to oversee the do-over election.
This series of insane events would obviously delay Hobbs's inauguration on January 2, and it would postpone any vacation plans outgoing Gov. Doug Ducey might've had. According to the Arizona constitution, an official's term is automatically extended until their "successor shall be elected and shall qualify." What if the governor's wife, Angela Ducey, wanted to go to Hawaii? She probably hates Kari Lake as much as we do.
The judge did throw out eight of Lake's sillier claims, but the never-ending candidate seemed pleased that she'd forced Hobbs to waste time on her crap just a few days before Christmas.
"Katie Hobbs' attempt to have our case thrown out FAILED," Lake tweeted earlier this week. ""She will have to take the stand and testify. Buckle up, America. This is far from over."
Oh, but it is over, except for the annoying part where Lake won't go away, like a drunk Santa at an office party gone horribly wrong. Tuesday afternoon, Lake's attorneys withdrew the subpoena for Hobbs to testify, as the two remaining claims don't directly involve Hobbs.
Although Lake is having her stupid day in court, she should not expect a miracle on whatever street the court is located.
[Arizona Daily Star / Democracy Docket Twitter]
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."