Supreme Court declines to hear Kari Lake voting machine lawsuit

Supreme Court declines to hear Kari Lake voting machine lawsuit

The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up a case brought by Republicans Kari Lake and Mark Finchem over the use of voting machines in Arizona elections, the latest blow to the duo of GOP candidates who have seen their lawsuit rejected several times.

Lake and Finchem asked the Supreme Court to review a federal appellate judge’s decision to dismiss their case last October. The suit sought to block electronic voting machines from being used in the state, questioning their accuracy and reliability.

Lawyers for Lake, who is running for a Senate seat in Arizona this cycle, and Finchem, who is seeking a state Senate seat, argued in a court filing to the Supreme Court that they had sufficiently argued that all “Arizona-certified optical scanners and ballot marking devices, as well as the software on which they rely, have been wrongly certified for use”; Arizona’s voting machines had been “hacked” and “manipulated”; and that there were apparent discrepancies in the Maricopa County’s vote count after the 2020 election.

The lawsuit was filed ahead of the November 2022 midterms, when Lake was running for governor and Finchem was running for secretary of state. Both lost their elections.

Their lawsuit had been rejected by a federal judge in 2022, and that dismissal was affirmed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year.

“On appeal, Plaintiffs conceded that their arguments were limited to potential future hacking, and not based on any past harm,” the 9th Circuit wrote.

“In the end, none of Plaintiffs’ allegations supports a plausible inference that their individual votes in future elections will be adversely affected by the use of electronic tabulation, particularly given the robust safeguards in Arizona law, the use of paper ballots, and the post-tabulation retention of those ballots,” it added.

The Supreme Court’s decision to decline to revisit the federal court’s decision puts a cap on Lake’s and Finchem’s lawsuit.

“We are obviously disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to review the decisions of the Arizona district court and the Ninth Circuit, and order that our challenge to the 2022 election procedures be heard on the merits,” Kurt Olsen, one of the attorneys that sought to get the Supreme Court to consider the case, said in a statement. He had argued new information came to light after the case was dismissed by the circuit court.

“Although the Supreme Court grants review in less than 1 percent of cases presented on petition, we believe we presented a case.”

“The Kari Lake and Mark Finchem case was dismissed based on a purported lack of standing to assert an injury,” Olsen wrote. “Therefore, the courts, even now, have not ruled on the merits of our case. We will continue to raise these issues especially in light of the upcoming 2024 election.”

Republicans including Lake, Finchem and former President Trump have sought to cast doubt about the 2020 and 2022 election results in states including Arizona, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, though those election results have consistently been upheld.

Updated at 12:16 p.m. EDT

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