Top Arizona election official calls for investigation into Kari Lake campaign violation


PHOENIX — Arizona’s top election official has asked the attorney general to investigate Kari Lake, the Republican candidate who lost her 2022 gubernatorial bid, over potential campaign violations involving the disclosure of signatures voters.

The complaint could spark a legal showdown in the battleground state between a prominent Trump-backed conservative Holocaust denier and two newly elected Democrats who campaigned with messages of boosting public confidence in the election.

The dismissal from Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D) to Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) comes as Lake doubled down on his unproven claims that the administration of the state’s midterm elections resulted in his undoing. The Washington Post obtained a copy of the referral.

An aide to Lake did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As part of his grievances, a Jan. 23 tweet from Lake’s account claimed that 40,000 ballots did not match voter signatures that Arizona had recorded. The tweet included a graphic containing images of 16 voter signatures.

“I think all ‘election deniers’ deserve an apology,” said the Tweeter said.

In his letter, Fontes pointed to state law involving public inspection of voter registration records. This law states that documents containing voters’ signatures “must not be accessed or reproduced by anyone other than the voter.”

Violation of this law, he writes, is a crime.

A spokesperson for Mayes confirmed the office received the referral and declined to comment.

Just a few months ago, Republicans in Arizona lost nearly every major state midterm race after campaigning for months on false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump. It wasn’t always a winning strategy in Arizona or many other states, but many Republican leaders and their supporters here still cling to the lies of voter fraud, refusing to acknowledge that their candidates lost and resisting attempts to smooth extreme divisions in the state.

At a “Save Arizona Rally” in Scottsdale on Sunday, Lake addressed a crowd of supporters as she pledged to hold officials accountable for what she called a “botched” election. She called Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) a ‘squatter in the governor’s office’. Hobbs beat Lake by over 17,000 votes.


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