Judges hear arguments in separate election lawsuits filed by Kari Lake, Mark Finchem

Mark Finchem and Kari Lake filed separate lawsuits last week challenging the results of...
Mark Finchem and Kari Lake filed separate lawsuits last week challenging the results of November's election.(ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 10:22 AM MST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2022 at 12:22 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Tuesday morning, judges in Maricopa County Superior Court heard arguments on two separate election lawsuits filed last week by former GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Mark Finchem, who ran for Secretary of State.

Lake filed a lawsuit last Friday evening against current Secretary of State and opponent Katie Hobbs along with Maricopa County election officials over how the midterm election was handled. The 70-page lawsuit says evidence was gathered from witnesses showing “hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots infected the election in Maricopa County.”

Also on Friday, Finchem and congressional candidate, Jeff Zink filed their own lawsuit to overturn the results of the November election. Their lawsuit is against Finchem’s Democratic secretary of state opponent Adrian Fontes, Zink’s opponent in Congressional District 3, Rep. Ruben Gallego, and current Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. It claims Hobbs abused her power by failing to have the tabulation machines properly certified and threatening the board of supervisors in Mohave and Cochise counties with criminal charges if they didn’t certify the election.

A court hearing to show cause in the Finchem-Zink lawsuit was held at 10:30 a.m. During the proceedings, the attorney for the Secretary of State’s Office said they will file a motion to dismiss the suit, calling the claims “baseless” and “sanctionable.” The court will hear that motion Friday at 10:30 a.m.

The hearing regarding Lake’s lawsuit got off to a rocky start when the court’s internal Microsoft Teams link and conference phone number meant only for use by litigants in the case was shared publicly through social media. That led to more than 500 people joining the online hearing, which was soon taken down. It’s unclear if the hearing’s temporary removal was intentional or the result of too much traffic that crashed the site.

Once the hearing began, attorneys for Maricopa County election officials and Governor-elect Hobbs also announced their intention to file a motion to dismiss this lawsuit. Lake’s attorneys asked for a multi-day trial, while attorneys for the Secretary of States agreed with the court’s recommendation for a one-day trial.

The motion to dismiss will be heard on Monday, Dec. 19 at 9 a.m., while the tentative trial is set for Dec. 21-22. Lake’s attorney also said they intend to file a request to inspect ballots before the trial.