Election denier Kari Lake cries "voter disenfranchisement" as she meets with Trump at Mar-a-Lago

Lake flies to talk to Trump as she gathers "evidence" to challenge her Arizona election loss

Published November 18, 2022 3:30PM (EST)

Former President Donald Trump embraces Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake at a "Save America" rally on July 22, 2022 in Prescott Valley, Arizona.  (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump embraces Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake at a "Save America" rally on July 22, 2022 in Prescott Valley, Arizona. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Republican Kari Lake, who lost a tight Arizona gubernatorial race, visited former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida on Thursday as she prepared to contest her defeat.

Lake, who has yet to concede, posted a video on Twitter Thursday morning and informed her followers that she is consulting with her lawyers on how to resolve what she claims was "voter disenfranchisement" in Arizona during the 2022 midterm election. 

She said that she is gathering information on voters who had to wait in long lines and those who may have experienced ballot tabulator malfunctions.

While officials in Maricopa County have acknowledged a printing issue that caused some malfunctions at polling stations on Election day, they have confirmed that all legal ballots were being counted. 

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors' chair and vice chair, who are both Republicans, issued a post-election statement explaining that 17,000 ballots were affected, but they had backup plans in place which meant all valid votes were counted in the following days. They have both defended the voting tabulation in their county. 

The Republican officials also stated that once they were aware of the tabulator malfunction, election officials told voters that there were several other methods to make sure their ballots were counted, including dropping them in a secure box in the voting location. 

All the valid ballots placed in the boxes would be taken to another location and counted, officials affirmed, and several batches of those ballots were indeed counted over the past week. 

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After the Associated Press projected Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs as the winner of the election, people close to Lake shared that she didn't know how to proceed. 

Two individuals close to Lake told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that some people were encouraging her to contest the results, while others advised her to move on and focus on a future campaign. 

Lake famously supported Trump's claims of election fraud despite federal authorities stating there was no widespread fraud that would have changed the results of the presidential election. Trump's claims, which were repeatedly rejected by courts, were a key part of Lake's campaign for governor. She also vowed that she would only accept the results in the midterm election if she won. 

Many reporters have asked Lake to produce evidence of her claims that the 2020 election was "stolen," but she has refused. She is now following the same pattern of behavior with the midterm elections. 

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

Lake has also retweeted supporters who have claimed that they don't trust the voting process after waiting in line for hours, implying that they are victims of election fraud. However, Lake had no criticisms of the system when efforts to disenfranchise Black and other minority voters, such as the "proof of citizenship" bill, were carried out in several red states, including Arizona.

"The fox was guarding the henhouse," Lake said, referring to her opponent Hobbs. "Because of that, voters have been disenfranchised."

Lake also claimed that a voter who dropped his ballot in a secure box "felt it meant they would throw his vote in the trash." She has cited long waiting times outside of polling sites, which is not unusual on election days, as proof that Republican voters were treated unfairly in Arizona.

By Samaa Khullar

Samaa Khullar is a former news fellow at Salon with a background in Middle Eastern history and politics. She is a graduate of New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism institute and is pursuing investigative reporting.

MORE FROM Samaa Khullar

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Donald Trump Elections Kari Lake Katie Hobbs Mar-a-lago