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Judge Rules on Kari Lake’s Review Of 2022 Ballot Envelope Signatures

via ABC
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An Arizona judge denied Kari Lake’s request to review ballot envelope signatures for the 2022 general election, citing concerns about public confidence in the electoral process.

The judge sided with Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, who argued that releasing the signatures would compromise voter privacy and election security.

The decision comes after Lake’s close loss to Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, and follows a previous ruling that Maricopa County officials did not follow signature verification processes as required by Arizona law. (Trending: Disgraced Democrat Sued For Sexual Assault)

“I believe these envelopes are not public record according to state statute. And I believe that making them public would have a chilling effect on voting, would weaken the security controls on early voting, and would open the door to voter harassment,” Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer wrote.

“Professional Victim @stephen_richer is lying again,” Lake responded.

“We’re not asking these signatures to be made public. We are asking to review them to assess whether they are legitimate or not. We have a STRONG reason to believe they’re not. Clearly, so does Stephen.”

“The Recorder uses the private identifying information in his possession, including voter signatures, for the purpose of verifying early ballots,” Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah wrote.

“As a matter of election administration, the public release of that private information, including voter signatures, undermines the verification process.”

“Unauthorized people could use the information to impersonate real voters. ‘Voter impersonation’ fraud is exceedingly rare at present, in part because it is difficult to scale up that kind of activity enough to make a difference in an election.”

“A key barrier is that potential bad actors have no large-scale source of sample voter signatures from which to create fraudulent ballots that might survive the signature verification process and get counted.”

“The broad right of electoral participation outweighs the narrow interests of those who would continue to pick at the machinery of democracy.”

“The public release of 1.3 million ballot affidavit envelopes signed by Maricopa County voters would undermine the process of verifying those voters’ ballots in future elections,” Hannah wrote.

“It would create a significant risk of widespread voter fraud where none now exists.”

“It would expose voters to harassment and potentially force them to defend the integrity of their own votes. Some number of voters would stop participating entirely, out of fear of identity theft or concern about privacy.”

“Election laws aren’t suggestions or guidelines, they’re the law. I am thankful the court has reminded Secretary of State [Adrian] Fontes and Recorder Richer of that fact,” Lake said.

Lake, who is now running for the Arizona U.S. Senate seat, has a case before the Arizona Court of Appeals challenging Hobbs’ win.

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