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Kari Lake sues to get election records from Maricopa County

The former TV anchorwoman's campaign claims technical problems with ballot printers disrupted the election in Arizona's most populous county.

(CN) — Kari Lake, the Republican candidate who lost her bid to become Arizona governor, sued Wednesday to get public records from Arizona's most populous county to purportedly ensure that every lawful vote has been properly counted.

Kari Lake for Arizona, her political committee, says in a complaint filed Wednesday that about half the polling stations in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, had problems with their ballot printers so that the ballots weren't dark enough to be read by tabulation machines.

Many poll workers tried to call the county's hotline but were unable to timely reach a tech person to fix the problem, and even when technical support was reached, poll workers were told that they did not know how to fix the problem, Lake's campaign claims. In some cases, voters were given the option to spoil their ballot and try over.

"Things were so chaotic that poll workers were unable to watch the voters feed their ballots through the tabulator," the committee says in its complaint. "Poll workers were pulled in so many different directions that one poll worker did not have the time to mark 'spoiled' on original ballots."

As a result of the printer/tabulator problem, many voters were left in fear of their vote not being counted, according to the complaint. In addition, poll observers saw poll workers mix counted and uncounted ballots in the same container at the end of the night, the committee alleged.

Representatives of Maricopa County didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

Lake's committee made two requests to Maricopa election officials for public records pertaining to the Nov. 8 election, but hadn't received anything yet, the committee claims. They said they needed the records before the county's election canvass on Nov. 28 and the state canvass on Dec. 5.

Lake, a former TV news anchor who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, lost her gubernatorial bid to Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs but so far has refused to concede. Lake has endorsed far-right conspiracy theories that the 2020 presidential election was "stolen" from Trump.

Her committee claims "special action relief to compel prompt production of public records" and asks for a writ of mandamus for the county to produce the requested records.

The committee is represented by Timothy A. La Sota of Phoenix.

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