A judge in the US state of Arizona has rejected Republican candidate Kari Lake’s effort to overturn the results of her election loss in the state’s governor race.
In a decision on Saturday, Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson said the court did not find clear and convincing evidence of the widespread misconduct that Lake had alleged had affected the result of the 2022 general election.
Lake said she will appeal the ruling.
The 53-year-old, who lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs by just more than 17,000 votes, was among the most vocal 2022 Republicans promoting former President Donald Trump’s election lies, which she made the centrepiece of her campaign.
While most of the other election deniers around the country have conceded after losing their races in November, Lake has not.
Instead, she asked the judge to either declare her the winner or order a revote in Maricopa County, home to more than 60 percent of Arizona’s voters and where she claimed that “hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots infected the election”.
In Saturday’s ruling, the judge acknowledged the “anger and frustration” of voters who were inconvenienced in the election and noted that setting aside the results of an election “has never been done in the history of the United States”.
“But this Court’s duty is not solely to incline an ear to public outcry,” the judge continued. “It is to subject Plaintiff’s claims and Defendants’ actions to the light of the courtroom and scrutiny of the law.”
But Lake’s witnesses did not have any personal knowledge of intentional misconduct, he said
“The Court cannot accept speculation or conjecture in place of clear and convincing evidence,” he added.
The findings in the order were in line with judgments against Abe Hamadeh and Mark Finchem, the unsuccessful Republican candidates for attorney general and secretary of state, respectively, who also challenged their losses.
A court hearing is scheduled Thursday to present the results of recounts in the races for attorney general, state superintendent, and a state legislative seat.