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The End Of Kari Lake Has Arrived

Kari Lake. Image Credit: Gage Skidmore.
Kari Lake speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Dillon Precision in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Unlike most candidates for office in 2022 who ran on the notion that the 2020 election has been stolen, Kari Lake has refused to concede her own race, arguing that the gubernatorial election has been stolen from her.

Kari Lake Won’t Stop

Lake even took her case to court, although much like nearly every Trump suit challenging the 2020 election, it was rejected by a judge

“Plaintiff has no free-standing right to challenge election results based upon what Plaintiff believes – rightly or wrongly – went awry on Election Day,”  Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson said in his order in December. “She must, as a matter of law, prove a ground that the legislature has provided as a basis for challenging an election.”

Even as her Democratic opponent, Katie Hobbs, has assumed the governor’s office, Lake has continued to claim that she is the rightfully elected governor.

One of those claims is that “a minimum of 140,000 fraudulent mail-in ballots with bad signatures were counted in our election. It’s outrageous. Bogus signatures.”

CNN’s fact-checker, Daniel Dale, noted that Lake’s number comes from a conservative group called the We the People AZ Alliance, which was basing their analysis on the 2020 election. And even that analysis, per CNN, was flawed. 

Heading to Jail? 

Now, in sharing her tweet about the signature matches, Lake may have done something even beyond sharing false information – something that could land her in legal trouble. 

Arizona’s secretary of state, Adrian Fontes, has written a letter to state Attorney General Kris Mayes, asking Mayes to “investigate and take appropriate enforcement action” against Lake for “potential violations of Arizona law committed under her Twitter handle, @KariLake. 

At issue is the tweet with the signatures, which contains 16 voter signatures from the 2020 election. This, per Fontes, may put Lake in violation of an Arizona statute that forbids “posting any information derived from voter registration forms or precinct registers to the Internet” by anyone other than the voter or a “statutorily authorized person.” 

The matter was referred to the state attorney general’s office for “further investigation and possible prosecution.” 

As always, a criminal referral is just that, a criminal referral, and it is not the same thing as a criminal prosecution. 

Lake’s attorney responded with a statement, retweeted by the Kari Lake War Room Twitter account. 

“This is becoming all too common in politics- another attempt to weaponize the justice system with a phony allegation against a Republican,” attorney Tim LaSota said in the statement. “Adrian Fontes selectively quotes the statute in an attempt to distort the law and smear Kari Lake in the process. Kris Mayes should immediately say that she will have no part in this shameful, disgusting effort.” 

“This information came from the Arizona Senate investigation on acceptance of clearly mismatched signatures on early ballots, and Kari Lake has an absolute right under the First Amendment to republish the information presented to the Senate,” the attorney added. 

In the weeks since the race formally ended, Lake has continued to fundraise off the claims that the election was stolen from her. According to the AZ Mirror, Lake has raised $2.5 million since Election Day, despite not running for any further office. On the day the race was called for Hobbs, Lake raised  $338,388 from more than 8,000 people, with less than a quarter of the donors based in her home state of Arizona. 

Last weekend, Lake held a “Save Arizona” rally in Arizona, in which former President Donald Trump called in by phone, predicting that “a lot of Republican-area machines were broken, it’s a disgrace, and ultimately she is going to be victorious.”

“They thought they could steal it and we would just go away,” she said at the rally, according to a friendly account by Arizona Sun Times. “We had the greatest candidates in the country here in Arizona. We were running against some of the worst candidates in the history of Arizona. It didn’t matter if they rolled out brain-dead candidates… The fix was in. They knew they didn’t have to campaign.”

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Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.