Lake refuses to admit she lost the Arizona governor’s race

PHOENIX — Kari Lake, the defeated Republican nominee for Arizona governor, refused to admit and said Thursday she is assembling attorneys and gathering evidence that voters are struggling to cast ballots on Election Day while she ponders her next move. In her most lengthy public commentary since losing the election, Lake failed to mention that she had given up. Before the election, she had refused to say she would back down if she lost the race to Democrat Katie Hobbs.

“Rest assured that I have assembled the best and brightest legal team and we are exploring all avenues to rectify the many mistakes made over the past week,” Lake said.

She pointed to long lines at some polling stations, exacerbated by problems with ballot printers at about a third of polling centers in Maricopa County, the state’s largest county. She said the troubles had disenfranchised voters who couldn’t wait at the polls.

“What happened to Arizonans on Election Day is unforgivable,” she said.

County elections officials said all ballots were counted and voters were able to go to any polling station in the county, many of which had little to no queues, with wait times posted online. Election officials traced the problems to a printer setting that sometimes caused ballots to print too faintly for on-site tabs to read. They said they used the same settings in the August primary and for pre-election testing and there were no widespread problems.

About 17,000 ballots were not scanned at county-based polling stations, but were instead placed in a collection box to be counted by more modern machines at the county voting center. The collection box has become known as “box three”. Bill Gates, the Republican chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, has accused state GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward and other prominent Republicans of causing delays and long lines for telling their supporters not to use box three.

“This team, we took our responsibility for it,” Gates said Monday. “But I’m not willing to take responsibility for problems caused by others. And I realize those lines were longer because the leaders of a political party were spreading misinformation.”

Republicans asked a judge to extend polling hours because of the problems. The judge refused, saying they had presented no evidence that anyone was disenfranchised.