Kari Lake’s high burden of proof is her own doing

Kari Lake at the Candidate Forum in Peoria on July 18, 2022. Photo by Gage Skidmore (Retouched) | flicker/CC BY-SA 2.0

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To win the latest challenge to lose the 2022 election, Kari Lake was said to be an insurmountable burden for many, but it was Maricopa County signing the early voting affidavit. I had to prove that I had not done any verification at all.

Some of Lake’s supporters have already accused the judge in this case of setting such a high bar for victory, but the reality is that this is exactly what Lake’s lawyers need for a second trial. It means that it is a case that I tried to argue when I argued that it was.

“The reason they had to prove it is because they claimed it,” Jim Burton, an Arizona election attorney and partner at Burton Mendes Soto, told the Arizona Mirror.

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Lake, a Republican who lost the Arizona gubernatorial race to Democrat Katie Hobbs more than six months ago, has since challenged the results of the 2022 general election all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court.Her second trial in the courtroom of Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ends fridayand his decision in this case could be made at any time.

Ahead of the three-day trial, Thompson made a judgment To overturn the election results, Lake’s attorneys allege that Maricopa County did not perform high-level signature verification on ballots cast in the 2022 general election last November, and that because of that It requires proof that the number of illegal ballots cast changed the outcome of the election. selection.

A lower-level, or Level 1, signature verifier compares the signature on the early ballot envelope with the signature on the voter’s file and, if they match, sends the ballot for counting. Inconsistent signatures are sent to a higher level review (Level 2) by more experienced workers. Envelopes that are unsigned or determined by a higher review official to be unmatched will be sent for repair, and the voter must be contacted to verify identity and ballot validity.

Lake’s attorneys challenged the judge’s ruling on the burden of proof, filed late at night, seeks room to try to prove not only that higher-level signature verification was not done, but also that lower-level verification was not done. The judge granted their request.

They did the same as ever. That means making claims, going to hearings and coming up with new theories.

However, two of Lake’s own witnesses who were personally involved in Level 1 signature verification: promptly disproved Lake’s allegations It means that a Level 1 review has not been done.

“I was very focused on verifying the signatures and making sure they matched,” Lake’s witness Jacqueline Onigkate testified on the first day of trial.

Still, some Lake supporters believe the judge deliberately set an insurmountable bar for Lake.

Republican Rep. Justin Heap, Mesa Attorney, tweeted on friday He said he believes the lawsuit will be dismissed.

In a tweet, Heep wrote, “This is not due to insufficient evidence or the incompetence of her legal team.” “That is because the courts have deliberately set the bar so high that it is impossible for anyone to win … In my opinion as a trial attorney, this is because the courts are trying to , appears to be a higher standard of proof imposed with the aim of ensuring rejection.” A manifestation of fairness. ”

However, two lawyers interviewed by the Arizona Mirror argued it was Lake’s own team that had them cornered by the precedent cited in the filings leading up to the trial. .

In filings prior to the trial, Lake’s attorneys Brian Brem and Kurt Olsen referred to the case. reyes vs cumming, And Thompson bases Lake’s burden of proof on that claim.

“Lake has narrowed his case down to what he was accused of in the case.” ReyesAnd she must prove at trial that Maricopa County’s high-level signature reviewers failed to verify or restore any signatures and, in so doing, systematically failed to substantially comply with the law.” wrote Mr Thompson.

In the 1997 Yuma County Reyes case, the Arizona Court of Appeals found that the county registrar made no signature verification efforts in the 1996 Board of Supervisors election.

Lake’s attorneys said in their second trial arguments that they had evidence that the situation in Maricopa County was as follows.Reyes I am using steroids. ”

However, once the trial began, Mr. Brem and Mr. Olsen appeared to have abandoned any effort to prove that verification had not taken place, instead claiming that the signature verifier was responsible for each signature because verification had indeed taken place. It seems like you tried to prove that you didn’t spend enough time reviewing .

The strategy did not impress Mr. Burton, who primarily represents union and liberal interests.

“I don’t think any evidence has been submitted to show that no review took place,” he said. “Instead, they did what they always did: make a case, go to hearings and come up with new theories.”

Lake’s expert witness testified, based on data from the county, that officials verified 274,000 ballots in less than three seconds and 70,000 ballots in less than two seconds. In his closing argument, Mr. Olsen argued that the rapid clicking of signature images by election officials is not equivalent to true signature verification.

“You can’t just go back in time and say, ‘Oh, it should have been like that, or it should have been like that,'” Burton said.

They wing it. This is a classic case of the blind leading the blind. It’s embarrassing to watch.

Mr. Burton explained that their arguments do not work because their claims are based on that very basis. Reyes case.

“If you can prove that the process was underutilized, not underutilized, that’s the problem.” Reyes There will be case law,” he said.

Whether or not Lake believes the county’s signature verification efforts were sufficient, lawyers showed a video of the verification taking place during the trial. And her witness, who was engaged in verifying her signature, testified that the verification of her signature did indeed take place and that she diligently performed her task.

Tom Ryan, a personal injury attorney in Phoenix and a frequent critic of Lake, added to the Mirror that her lawyer appears to be pitching legal theories. Face the wall to see what’s stuck.

He added that just because a judge made a ruling that the parties thought was unfair doesn’t mean the judge was biased.

Ryan noted that Thompson has wide discretion over Lake’s attorneys, saying, “He was willing to backtrack to give Lake’s defense team every opportunity to prove their case. I am bowing down to . Given their failure To follow or understand basic court rules during a trial.

Ryan said that despite election law’s strict rules and timelines, which are very different from other areas of law, it’s at least partly because Lake’s lawyers aren’t election law experts. He said he thought that was the reason. Olsen is an employment attorney in Washington, DC and Brehm is a divorce attorney in Scottsdale.

“They are doing well,” Ryan said. “This is a classic case of a blind man leading a blind man. It’s embarrassing to watch.”

post Kari Lake’s High Burden of Proof Is Her Own Act first appeared in arizona mirror.

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