Kari Lake claims supporters were 'disenfranchised'

Kari Lake claims supporters were 'disenfranchised'
Kari Lake speaking in Scottsdale, Arizona in August 2021 (Gage Skidmore)
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Republican Kari Lake, who lost her bid to become the next governor of Arizona, has yet to concede, but even before the race was called for Democrat Katie Hobbs, Lake was crying fraud.

Lake, a top supporter of Donald Trump and his “Big Lie” falsehood that the 2020 election was stolen, has been crying fraud for over a year. She made clear months ago that the only outcome she would accept was being declared the winner.

Reporters have repeatedly asked Lake to show proof of her claims of 2020 election fraud, and she has repeatedly refused.

Now she’s calling this election “botched.”

“How do you certify an election that is this botched?” Lake asked on Fox News earlier this week.

Republican Kari Lake, who lost her bid to become the next governor of Arizona, has yet to concede, but even before the race was called for Democrat Katie Hobbs, Lake was crying fraud.

Lake, a top supporter of Donald Trump and his “Big Lie” falsehood that the 2020 election was stolen, has been crying fraud for over a year. She made clear months ago that the only outcome she would accept was being declared the winner.

Reporters have repeatedly asked Lake to show proof of her claims of 2020 election fraud, and she has repeatedly refused.

Now she’s calling this election “botched.”

“How do you certify an election that is this botched?” Lake asked on Fox News earlier this week.

READ MORE: Local Columnist Tells Election Denier Kari Lake to ‘Grow Up’ as Republican Blasts ‘Banana Republic’ Arizona

She’s also posting accounts by her supporters complaining they had to wait in line for hours to vote, with some suggesting they don’t trust the process, with the underlying implication being that perhaps there was election fraud.

On Thursday NewsNation reported Lake “said she is collecting evidence about potential election fraud after she lost the 2022 governor’s race.”

CBS News adds that Lake “said Thursday she is assembling lawyers and collecting evidence of voters having trouble casting ballots on Election Day as she considers her next move.”

There are no national minimum standards for how elections should be run or what conditions are acceptable. Republicans have not only rejected attempts to put into place basic expectations, but have passed countless laws at the state level to make voting harder, especially for communities of color.

Now Lake is claiming that the very same conditions Black and minority communities have had to endure, often because white Republican lawmakers, governors, and Secretaries of State have funneled resources into white, affluent communities, is evidence of disenfranchisement.

Lake offered no opposition when actual efforts to disenfranchise Black and other minority voters were enacted across the country in red states — not to mention her own state of Arizona,

Outgoing Arizona GOP Governor Doug Ducey signed into law numerous bills passed by Republicans in the state legislature, including a highly-controvesial “proof of citizenship” bill that the U.S. Dept of Justice is calling a “textbook violation” of federal law and is now suing over. That law also mandates proof of address for newly-registered voters.

READ MORE: Watch: Reporter Schools Kari Lake as She’s Accused of Spreading Election Disinformation

Ducey also signed a law that effectively hobbles Arizona’s permanent early voting list, which ABC News reported last year is used by 75% to 80% of voters. Estimates range from 126,000 to 145,000 or more voters would be purged from the list.

So egregious is the law U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland issued a statement, saying it will “rob up to 200,000 Arizonans of the ability to vote by mail, which has been done successfully in Arizona for many years.”

“It will disproportionately affect minorities who do not vote regularly or those who move their place of residence,” Hoyer added, “and this legislation would also punish independents by making it harder for those not affiliated with a party to maintain their registration. The practical effect of this law will be, as its authors intend, to make it far harder for people to participate and vote.”

Lake never spoke out against actual efforts to disenfranchise voters, who face some of the exact same challenges her supporters claim to have encountered, challenges she now says is voter disenfranchisement.

Just look at these headlines from 2020:

“Why Do Nonwhite Georgia Voters Have To Wait In Line For Hours? Too Few Polling Places” (NPR, October 17, 2020)

“Black and Latino Voters Face Longer Wait Times on Election Day” (Carnegie Corporation of New York, September 18, 2020)

“More than 10-hour wait and long lines as early voting starts in Georgia” (The Guardian, October 12, 2020)

“Florida Republicans targeted Black voters, justice department says in filing” (The Guardian, August 17, 2022)

Lake on Thursday recorded a video alleging voters were “disenfranchised” by her Democratic opponent, now governor-elect Katie Hobbs.

“The fox was guarding the henhouse and, because of that, voters have been disenfranchised,” Lake claimed.

Also on Thursday Lake posted this highly-edited video with sensational music depicting long voting lines, presumably for voting in Arizona — lines which are unacceptable, but not uncommon across many parts of the U.S., especially in areas of red states with large minority voting populations.

Lake also posted this video of a man who say he had to wait 90 minutes in line, and when he tried to vote there were problems with the tabulator machines, which were widely reported on Election Day in Maricopa County. But as the Republican officials in charge of Maricopa County elections said in a video quickly released that morning, they had a backup system in place, which this man says was suspicious to him.

READ MORE: ‘This Is Who They Are’: Critics Blast Kari Lake for Mocking Paul Pelosi After Brutally Violent Assault

That backup system was to place ballots in a box that would be transported to a different location to be counted — not unusual at all.

Offering zero evidence to question the election officials’ methods, Lake says this man “felt it meant they would throw his vote in the trash.”

The Associated Press reports on Friday that Lake “pointed to long lines at some polling places that were exacerbated by problems with ballot printers at about a third of the vote centers in Maricopa County, the largest county in the state. She said the problems disenfranchised voters who couldn’t wait at the polls.”

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

“County election officials said that all ballots were counted and that voters could go to any polling place in the county, many of which had little to no line, with wait times posted online,” the AP notes, adding that about “17,000 ballots were not scanned at precinct-based vote counters and were instead placed in a collection box to be counted by more sophisticated machines at the county’s election headquarters.”

In another post, Lake is complaining about a two-hour wait to vote — again, too long, but very common across parts of the U.S.

Lake says this man waited an hour, there were technical issues so his ballot was also put in box to be counted.

Placing paper ballots in boxes to be counted is how elections have been conducted literally for centuries.

Lake’s suggestions of fraud actually appears to be insufficient resources, GOP-created laws designed to make voting more difficult, and improper maintenance or testing of voting resources, like the tabulators.

She has offered no actual proof of fraud.

Watch the videos above or at this link.

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