(Daily360.com) – Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has been fighting the results of the Arizona 2022 election since the voting day. She has repeatedly argued that the results could not be trusted and needed to be challenged. Lake’s litigation reached the Arizona Supreme Court, who passed on most of her allegations, but did remand one very important part back to lower courts for trial; the signature matching component of ballot acceptance. While Lake ultimately lost her legal challenge, the three-day trial made headlines thanks to the claims of one election official.
Reynaldo Valenzuela, a Director with Maricopa County Elections, was questioned by a Lake attorney about how vote signatures are matched. Valenzuela said there were three official locations in Arizona’s most densely populated Maricopa County where ballots were counted with some observers present. Prior to Valenzuela testifying, a whistleblower who worked as a ballot reviewer told the court she and the other observers were surprisingly sent home at only 7pm on election night. She found this worrisome, as after that, there would be no further observation of what was taking place with ballot counting.
When asked about the whistleblower’s testimony, Valenzuela said observers are allowed in a “general area” but are not legally required. He said any “certified election officer” can approve signature matches with no observers present. He was then asked if officials could do this remotely from home. At first, he said such a policy was not “in place,” but then said 2020 measures allowed for officials to log in to the system remotely. He further stated that although it would be outside protocol, officials could still indeed log in remotely. The Lake team reportedly showed video of un-observed officials fast-approving thousands of ballots in a matter of seconds.
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