Game-changer? Huge Revelation in Kari Lake's Election Challenge Trial

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

It was, perhaps, a small miracle that Kari Lake’s election challenge was allowed to go to trial, but the tough part still lies ahead: proving beyond a reasonable doubt (Count II) that ballot printer problems on Election Day were intentional, designed to affect the results of the election—and that they, in fact, did—and (Count IV) that additional votes were allowed to be counted in violation of the County Election Manual.


On Wednesday, Lake’s team took a huge step toward doing that.

When asked by Lake’s attorney Bryan Blehm if the county knew on Election Day how many ballots had been submitted by the voters, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer testified that they did not. According to Richer, individual polling places did not tally the number of votes cast — an apparent violation of state law.

Related: Kari Lake Calls for Maricopa Election Officials to Be ‘Locked Up’

This is significant because Lake’s lawsuit claims, among other things, that between Nov. 9 (the day after Election Day) and Nov. 11, the number of votes the county reported having counted in the election increased by nearly 25,000 — which exceeds Katie Hobbs’ alleged 17,000-vote victory.

“Highlighting the chain of custody failures … is the fact that two days after Election Day was completed, Maricopa County found more than 25,000 additional ballots, whereas properly followed chain of custody procedures would require Maricopa County election officials to know the exact number of ballots submitted by the day after Election, November 9, 2022,” Kari Lake’s attorney explained in their legal brief.

“On Election Day, it would’ve been easy for you to figure out how many ballots you received,” Blehm told Richer.


“Well, we had to get them all in and it was quite a process throughout the night,” Richer claimed.

“You can look at the forms and add the numbers. Correct?” Blehm asked.

“They’re not counted at the individual loading locations,” Richer explained. “They are counted when they get back to MCTEC [the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center] and then they are recounted at Runbeck.”

“Does anybody know, when those ballots leave the voting centers, how many are in the bins?” asked Blehm.

“When the early ballots leave the voting centers, no, they are not counted at the voting centers,” Richer admitted

“Nobody knows how many [ballots] are in the bins when they arrive at MCTEC. Correct?” Blehm asked.

“Correct,” Richer said.

According to the state election procedures manual, each voting location is required by law to record the number of votes cast there and record them in an official ballot report. This ensures that the total number of ballots they record matches the number of people who claim to have voted.


Former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett told The Western Journal that Maricopa County should have known the total number of ballots on Election Day, or at the very least by the next day.

It appears that Maricopa County did violate the law; they didn’t have a tally of the votes cast before they were counted. Why would there be such a blatant violation of the law, unless it was to ensure there was no official tally of votes cast to compare to the number of votes counted?


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