Kari Lake’s trial is over. The big reveal about the Arizona election is, well…. revealed.
It turns out there was no explosive evidence proving that some nefarious soul in Maricopa County had hatched a plan to rob Lake of the victory.
There wasn’t even a small firecracker. Not even a party popper.
There was only Lake’s lawyer, clinging to a theory that someone had reduced the ballots to cause chaos on Election Day and cost Lake the election.
“It’s a matter of trust,” Lake’s attorney, Kurt Olsen, said in closing argument. “It’s about restoring people’s trust.”
In fact, according to the order of Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson, it was to bring forward evidence that shows someone intentionally caused the county’s on-demand ballot printers to malfunction. – and that, therefore, enough “identifiable” votes were lost to change the outcome of the election.
And it was about whether the Republican-led county intentionally played fast and loose with the rules that required them to follow the early ballots, allowing Democrat Katie Hobbs to win.
Team Lake didn’t even come close on either point.
Instead, his lawyers offered:
..A whistleblower from Runbeck Elections Services, the county’s election contractor, who did not testify but instead admitted to a Lake investigator that she saw co-workers bring in 50 early ballots from family members and illegally adding them to the vote total. Lake lost to Governor-elect Katie Hobbs by 17,117 votes.
..A partisan pollster calling himself the “People’s Pundit” – a guy whose polling company, Big Data Poll, got an F rating on polling analytics website FiveThirtyEight – who did an exit poll of 813 Maricopa County voters and from there somehow concluded that 15,603 to 29,257 Lake supporters did not vote due to Election Day issues.
“I think it was substantial enough to change the rankings,” Rich Baris said.
…Sworn statements from 200 voters who say they are impacted by Election Day issues. But only three of them, according to the county, did not vote and it was their choice. Refusing to line up or put your ballot in a secure ballot box, to be counted later, is not evidence of disenfranchised voters.
..And finally, a cybersecurity expert who testified that county printers were set up to spit out 19-inch ballots onto 20-inch paper — ballots that then couldn’t be counted. Except he conceded they would have been counted.
When a ballot cannot be read by a polling center tabulator, he acknowledged that it is sent to a bipartisan council of workers who transfer the voter’s choices onto a new ballot so that it can be compiled.
Scott Jarrett, the county’s co-chief election officer, said on Thursday that temporary technicians sent in on Election Day to troubleshoot problems at three voting centers accidentally set the custom printers, forcing tabulators at the voting center to run them. to reject.
What he described was a snafu, not a ploy.
But Lake expert Clay Parikh said those 19-inch ballots appeared in ballots he inspected earlier this week at all six polling centers and therefore “couldn’t be by accident”.
Ipso facto, a plot-o.
Who knows? Maybe it would have worked in Fantasyland. But here in Maricopa County, there are these bipartisan councils that make sure those ballots count. So even if there was a (dodgy) plot, it was foiled when those votes were finally counted.
But don’t tell Lake. His campaign’s Twitter account has been on fire for the past two days, putting its own rather remarkable spin on trial testimony (as well as regular appeals for donations). Like this fictional blockbuster:
“Electoral Officer Scott Jarrett confirms that the printer setting change that led to the mass disenfranchisement of Arizona voters occurred on Election Day morning,” Kari Lake War Room tweeted.
As for Lake, still aggrieved, still playing the court of public opinion, she predictably claimed victory as she left the courthouse Thursday afternoon.
“We have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was malicious intent that caused such significant disruption that it changed the election results,” she told reporters.
Something has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, okay. And that should be followed by sanctions, like a warning to candidates that they better come to court armed with something more than sour grapes if they want to overturn the results of an election.
If Lake had evidence of a county conspiracy to deny him his due, it certainly wasn’t presented in the courtroom this week.
Conspiracy theories on his Twitter account, of course. But real evidence in a courtroom? No.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Kari Lake Election Trial Bombshell Goes Bankrupt