Arizona Appeals Court Ignores Evidence to Throw Out Kari Lake’s Second Election Appeal

An Arizona Court of Appeals panel of three judges issued a 23-page unpublished decision last week, affirming a trial court’s dismissal of Kari Lake’s Rule 60(b) second election lawsuit. The court claimed that Lake’s Rule 60(b)(3) motion, which means requesting a second trial based on newly found evidence, constituted merely relitigating her first election lawsuit.

The court said that instead, “The focus must rather be on the fraud or misconduct that prevents a litigant from trying otherwise meritorious claims.” However, the court ignored Lake’s evidence of misconduct and affirmed the high standard the trial court judge set for election contests, which is not found in Arizona case law.

The trial court judge, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson, had dismissed eight of Lake’s 10 counts “for failure to state a claim, for undue delay, as duplicative, as outside the scope of an election contest, or for some combination thereof.”

Lake argued in one of her counts that was dismissed that she discovered after her initial election challenge that Maricopa County workers were illegally verifying voters’ signature affidavits on the ballot envelopes, comparing them to any previous signature on record, not their initial voter registration signature as required by law. In Arizona Free Enterprise Club v. Fontes, Yavapai Superior Court Judge John Napper ruled that not using voters’ original signatures as required by statute on their voter registrations to compare their ballot affidavit signatures was illegal.

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Kari Lake by Gage Skidmore is licensed under