Arizona gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake called out Maricopa County and statewide officials for what she said has been another messed up electoral procedure in the Grand Canyon State.
Lake, a former Arizona Fox affiliate reporter, said she is still “100% certain” she will win – criticizing the fact that as of 6:30 PM Mountain Time, 650,000 votes have yet to be counted.
“The question is, how big will that win be? Can you believe this?” she said.
Lake said the votes yet to be counted come from Election Day onsite votes, including as many as 275,00 mail-in ballots that voters decided to eschew the Postal Service and bring in-person.
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“[Those] are people who brought their mail-in ballots to the polls on Election Day because they don’t trust the mail and they don’t trust the drop boxes,” she said.
“We’re only down by a few thousand votes right now. When those votes come in, I think we’re going to see a lot of liberal minds kind of blowing up.”
After another drop of a tranche of votes from that 650,000, Lake was asked who she would put the onus on for this delay and potential confusion.
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Lake pointed to her opponent, Democrat Katie Hobbs – who as incumbent secretary of state is the statewide official in charge of overseeing election operations. She also criticized Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a fellow Republican as “incompetent.”
In remarks reported by Phoenix media, Richer defended Maricopa’s election operations, explaining that the 275,000 early ballots dwarfed the 170,000 early ballots the county received during the 2020 presidential election.
“This number is immense,” he reportedly said, adding the increased turnout for a midterm election restricted the amount of official tabulation reporting that could be made within the first 24 to 48 hours.
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“Last night, we were down 15 points, and now we’re down [less than a point],” Lake later said. “When I started voting in 1988, you showed up on election day… and you knew who won the election before you went to bed.”
Lake said the 2000 election was the start of annual electoral chaos, when the Bush-Gore race became forever associated with paper-ballot “hanging chads” and the “Brooks Brothers Riot” demonstration at Miami canvassing headquarters that was associated with political figures like GOP consultant Roger Stone.
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“I want all Democrats, Independents and Republicans to trust in the system. And when I win … this is going to be top of my agenda,” Lake said, calling on the return of machine-less voting and paper ballots.