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An Arizona lawyer is petitioning a Maricopa County judge to void an order that dismissed Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake‘s election challenge after she lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs in the midterms.

The petition was filed by Ryan Heath, who founded The Gavel Project, a nonprofit organization that describes its work as “peacefully fighting for civil liberties on behalf of victims suffering from the abuses of woke ideologues.”

Heath’s petition requests that Judge Peter A. Thompson vacate his dismissal of Lake’s election contest and issue an order removing Hobbs, who has already been sworn in as Arizona’s governor, from office.

Lake came up short in her race with Hobbs in the November 8, 2022, election, though it took days before the race was called in Hobbs’ favor as mail-in votes were slowly counted. The Donald Trump-endorsed Lake has alleged that the election results were fraudulent and refuses to accept the outcome of the race.

In December, Thompson threw out Lake’s lawsuit challenging the election results. Her direct appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court was shot down earlier this month.

Though Lake has now faced multiple denials in her efforts to overturn the election, Heath’s petition amplifies unproven claims that the election was not sound.

Former Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks during a rally on November 7, 2022, in Prescott, Arizona. In inset, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, who was still a candidate at the time this photo was taken, holds a campaign event at the Carpenters Local Union 1912 headquarters on November 5, 2022, in Phoenix. An Arizona lawyer is petitioning a Maricopa County judge to void an order that dismissed Lake’s election challenge after she lost to Hobbs in the midterm elections.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images; Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The filing accused Maricopa County of having a “tainted” election process that rendered the election outcome “impermissibly uncertain.”

It alleged that election workers tasked with verifying signatures on mail-in ballots were inexperienced and that the county used an “arbitrary screening system” for verifying signatures that may have led to the inclusion of illegal votes in the state election total.

Heath voted for Lake by mail in the election, but he “now fears that his vote in the general election was diluted by Maricopa County’s inclusion of illegal ballots,” the petition said.

The filing added that Heath is concerned his vote “will continue to be diluted in future elections by the actions complained of herein and, worse yet, that the illegitimate results of the November 8, 2022, Arizona gubernatorial election will stand.”

In addition to asking the judge to void his order and enter a judgment for Lake instead, the petition offered suggestions that the judge either set aside the Maricopa County general election results and declare a victor based on totals of “lawful votes” cast in the remainder of the state, or “invalidate and set aside” all mail-in ballots from Maricopa County with respect for the governor race and declare a victor based on the new statewide totals.

Another petition suggestion was that the judge invalidate and set aside the Maricopa County general election results and require the county to conduct an emergency special election to redo the governor race.

Newsweek reached out to Lake and to Heath through The Gavel Project website for comment.


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