Arizona’s Secretary of State turned Governor-elect Katie Hobbs (D) told a judge that the court “should not indulge” losing candidate Kari Lake’s (R) lawsuit asking to reverse her “insurmountable” 17,117-vote defeat “a minute longer than it takes to dismiss it.”
“Lake’s contest fails at every level,” Hobbs’s lawyer Alexis E. Danneman wrote 19-page motion to dismiss on Thursday. “All of her claims either are barred by laches, fall outside the scope of the election contest statute, or fail to allege any actual misconduct.”
A legal principle that proved fatal to several of former President Donald Trump’s election lawsuits, the doctrine of laches discourages litigants from unreasonable delay by sitting on their rights.
“These legal deficiencies—independently and collectively—are fatal to the contest,” the motion to dismiss continues. “Even if the Court could entertain these allegations, they fall far short of the statutory standard for nullifying or reversing an election. To trigger these extraordinary remedies, a contestant must demonstrate either fraud or that official misconduct or illegal votes altered the outcome of the election. Lake cannot show either. Instead of alleging actual facts and real numbers, Lake’s contest rests on rank speculation and a cynical mistrust of Arizona’s election officials.”
Like Trump before her, Lake claimed that Hobbs only beat her because “hundreds of thousands” of “illegal votes” tipped her rival to victory and “infected the election in Maricopa County.”
But Hobbs countered that Lake forgot to include something crucial in her complaint: evidence.
“Rather than plead particular circumstances of fraud, Lake simply airs baseless suspicions that someone—maybe even everyone—involved in the election was out to get her,” the motion states. “That is not enough to trigger the legal machinery for an election contest.”
In Maricopa County, Arizona, where the lawsuit was filed, printer and tabulator machines experienced problems resulting in delay. Lake casts those problems as a sign of “foul play,” the dismiss motion notes. But Hobbs argues that the only support Lake provided for that theory was that “it was known” that Election Day voters cast Republican ballots.
“By this standard, any issue which occurred at polling places on Election Day was the result of intentional action against Lake,” the motion states. “That inference is absurd. All elections have flaws, and understandably, many of those issues are not revealed until Election Day. Lake offers no basis for this Court to entertain such ‘unreasonable inferences’ of intentional sabotage.”
Another motion to dismiss filed on Hobbs’ behalf, this one in her capacity as Secretary of State, used the word “absurd” several times when describing Lake’s arguments and what their consequences would be — if accepted by the court.
Even before Election Day, Lake refused to tell reporters that she would concede if she lost. She was one of a string of pro-Trump candidates who ran on conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential race. Similar GOP candidates like Pennsylvania’s Doug Mastriano and Tudor Dixon lost, as did a slate of 2020 election-denialist candidates for secretaries of state.
Hobbs has faced heavy blowback in the Grand Canyon State by opposing the conspiracy theories embraced by Trump, Lake and others. She reported a stream of death threats immediately after the 2020 election, which never relented after Trump left office. Multiple criminal defendants are being prosecuted in federal court for alleged threats on Hobbs’ life. The latest criminal indictment involving a threat on Hobbs’ office was made public on Thursday.
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