Arizona Edition

A few hours in and Kari Lake’s trial is already over (or it should be)

Kari Lake arrives to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC 2023 at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Saturday, March 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Kali Lake opened her on Wednesday (2nd time) Trial to challenge 2022 election …with a full and perfect lather.

Her attorney, Kurt Olsen, told the judge that Maricopa County did not verify voters’ signatures on “hundreds of thousands” of early ballots and instead hired signature judges while the county sat in on the ballot. He said he would provide evidence that he had just reviewed the motion. .

“This is not about not doing enough,” he said. “They just don’t do signature verification.”

He then called the first witness, the “whistleblower” who tried to close Lake’s case.

Lake’s star witness was great…for the defense

Jacqueline Onigkate, who worked as a Level 1 auditor, spent more than an hour learning how much time the county spent verifying signatures: a week of training staff, three levels of signature screening. , and advice on how to do it right.

“They[supervisors]told us, ‘We have to be very careful.’ Pay attention to what you do, and if you refuse or approve anything, you could be called to testify.” “I have to remember,” she testified.

As a defense witness, Onig Kate was Dynamite.

The problem is, she was supposed to be Lake’s star witness.

Another way of looking at it: Lake wins if he loses the challenge in court

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson explained what Lake needed to do to win, based on attorneys’ objections.

She must prove that the county did not verify the signature.

“Courts can and do require plaintiffs not to have representations and signature confirmations by their legal team of claims at trial,” he said. Judgment handed down on Tuesday.

her lawyer was educated by a judge

Two hours later, the trial was already over. Or should be.

And by Thursday’s lunch break—a day and a half into what was supposed to be a two-day trial—things weren’t getting any better for Lake.

Or for her lawyer, who was mostly clumsy and had to learn how to run a trial from Judge Thompson.

“I feel like I’m teaching a seminar here,” Thompson said, giving Olsen room to correct mistakes his own expert witnesses could not have testified about the speed of the county’s signature review. rice field.

what’s next? Lake’s Signature Verification Controversy Continues

Olsen told Thompson that the signature judges “clicked signatures as fast as they could hit a keyboard, and within three seconds of each, more than 274,000 ballots were approved.”

He then showed a video of a guy who appeared to be doing just that.

That might have been a striking visual, except for the fact that Maricopa County Deputy Attorney Tom Liddy told the judge that the man had been fired for neglecting his duties.

This supports claims that the county takes signature verification seriously.

A ‘whistleblower’ said he verified the signatures

Two of Lake’s “whistleblowers” also bolstered the county’s claims.

Onigkate said signature judges were “flooded” with ballots the day after the election, but were repeatedly warned about acting too quickly.

“We…were audited every day, and if we approved or rejected too many signatures, we were called into the office and told to talk to them, and we were told if we did it again, we would be released. I did.”

Lake’s second “whistleblower”, Andy Myers, was no longer helpful in Lake’s case.

He acknowledged that he had both verified and amended the signatures, but questioned why it took only three days to verify the 298,000 early votes that flooded in on Election Day.

“It was kind of a shock,” he said. “On Friday they came to us and said we had it done. I told her wife that morning that I would be working the weekend because of the volume, but nothing happened. .”

This is more of a “failure” than a blockbuster

But Maricopa County Elections Commissioner Ray Valenzuela said the petition was signed by 155 county officials from three county offices, not just the 24 to 40 inside the Maricopa County Tally and Election Center where Myers worked. He testified that he was considering

None of this seems very relevant at the moment.

The judge said Mr. Lake would have to prove by “clear and compelling evidence” that the county did not verify the signature.

But even her own whistleblower has a different opinion.

“I was very focused on verifying the signatures and making sure the signatures matched,” Onigkate testified.

As blockbusters progressed, so did Lake Kali.

Counting the “bust” part.

Please contact Roberts at follow her on her twitter @ Laurie Roberts.

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This article originally appeared in the Republic of Arizona. Kari Lake’s final gasp election trial didn’t go so well


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