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Lake Seeks Hearing After Alleging 'New Evidence' Shows Majority of Vote Tabulators Failed Accuracy Test

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UPDATE, May 12, 2023: Fields Moseley, Maricopa County director of communications, provided The Western Journal with a legal filing from the county that addressed some of the issues discussed in this article. That information has been added below.

In a Tuesday court filing, Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s legal team asked an Arizona judge to reopen the issue of ballot tabulators malfunctioning on Election Day in light of “new evidence” that has surfaced.

In December, Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson affirmed now-Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs’ win in the November election ruling that Lake had not proven the county officials had intentionally misconfigured the ballot printers that caused the tabulators to reject ballots at 59 percent of polling locations in Maricopa County on Election Day.

Republicans voted 3-to-1 over Democrats on that day, thereby impacting their ability to vote more.

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The Arizona Court of Appeals and the Arizona Supreme Court upheld Thompson’s ruling on the matter; however, the Supreme Court did remand the case back to Thompson to review the issue of whether state law was followed regarding mail-in ballot signature verification.

During a Monday status conference, Lake attorney Kurt Olsen told Thompson concerning the ballot printer and tabulator issue that since the judge’s December ruling new evidence has surfaced about alleged misconduct by county officials.

“There were extraordinary findings of misconduct that are directly related to the Court’s findings in its December 24, ’22 Order, dismissing that claim,” Olsen said.

“The issues are of such an extensive nature; they show that Maricopa officials conducted secret testing on the tabulators on October 14th, 17th, and 18th. That’s after the logic and accuracy test was certified. Two hundred sixty of those 446 tabulators failed that secret testing, and those tabulators were then used in the election,” he added.

In a Tuesday court filing, Lake’s legal team elaborated on what they have found.

“On October 11, 2022, Maricopa County certified that its election equipment, including 446 tabulators used at Maricopa’s 223 vote centers passed logic and accuracy (‘L&A’) testing in accordance with A.R.S. §16-449(A) and the procedures set forth in the Election Procedures Manual (‘EPM’),” the lawyers wrote.

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“New and compelling evidence shows, among other things, that Maricopa falsely certified it passed L&A testing, and afterwards, secretly tested all 446 vote center tabulators on October 14th, 17th, and 18th, and knew that 260 of the vote center tabulators would fail on Election Day,” they added.

The document states that Lake cybersecurity expert Clay Parikh reviewed the internal system log files for the Maricopa vote center tabulators, obtained recently through public records requests, and determined “that Maricopa did not perform L&A testing on a single one of the 446 vote center tabulators in violation of Arizona law.”

“Maricopa’s false certification set the first stage of the Election Day debacle,” Lake’s lawyers assert.

Parikh had testified in December’s hearing that the ballot printer misconfiguration (printing a 19-inch image on a 20-inch piece of paper) had to have been intentional.

Hours-long lines formed at multiple voting locations throughout Maricopa County on Election Day as tabulators would not accept ballots, because the bar codes were not properly aligned.

According to Lake’s legal filing, tabulators rejected ballots more than 7,000 times every half-an-hour throughout Election Day countywide.

Lake’s lawyers emphasized that the information concerning the tabulators not passing L&A tests was not available to them at December’s hearing, but was obtained through public records requests fulfilled as recently as last month.

“This new evidence directly addresses the Court’s finding that Lake had not shown intentional misconduct on the part of Maricopa officials. In addition, contrary to the Court’s finding thousands of ballots rejected at vote centers were not counted at MCTEC [Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center] central count,” the filing says.

The lawyers asked the judge to reinstate the ballot configuration claim in addition to the issue of signature verification for the trial slated for next week.

Lake’s court filing concludes, “The evidence shows that not only did Maricopa officials knowingly violate the law mandating L&A testing, but that they knew about and planned the Election Day debacle.”

Maricopa County’s director of public communications Fields Mosely told The Western Journal regarding the ballot tabulator issue, “The County does not comment on current litigation.”

However, on Thursday, he provided a copy of a legal filing in which Maricopa County’s attorneys disputed Lake’s claim that 260 tabulators had failed secret logic and accuracy testing done in October before the election.

“First, the Secretary of State’s representatives attested on the State’s official Logic & Accuracy Certificate that the required logic and accuracy testing occurred on October 11, 2022,” the document reads. “One of those representatives was Kori Lorick, the State Elections Director.

“Second, Maricopa County Elections Department employees and political party observers signed the County’s official Certificate attesting that the logic and accuracy testing occurred on October 11, 2022.”

The county also denied that secret testing occurred on Oct. 14, 17 and 18 and that 260 of the 446 tabulators failed those tests. Its legal filing said that on those dates, “the County installed new memory cards, containing the certified Election Program that had undergone the logic and accuracy testing, on each of its tabulators.”

Further, it said, “When installing the memory cards, the County tabulated a small number of ballots on each tabulator to be certain that the memory cards had been properly inserted.”

The county also said the tabulators did not fail the testing but rather the misread errors Parikh identified in the machines’ logs could have been caused by a number of issues, including ballots being inserted incorrectly.

Finally, the county asserted that Lake’s team could not infer malicious intent from what Parikh discovered, pointing to an independent review overseen by former Arizona Supreme Court Justice Ruth McGregor that found in April that the cause of the Election Day polling tabulator/printer problems was “unknown.”

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