judge has ordered Kari Lake, the Republican who lost the Arizona governor’s race, to pay $33,000 in fees for witnesses who helped defend election officials against Lake’s failed challenge of her defeat to Democrat Katie Hobbs, but rejected a request for hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for the attorneys who defended the officials.
In an order Tuesday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson declined to impose sanctions against Lake and her lawyers, saying Lake’s failure to prove her case doesn’t “equate to a finding that her claims were, or were not, groundless and presented in bad faith.”
Thompson, who was appointed by former Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, pointed to a statistical analysis by a pollster who had testified on behalf of Lake. The witness, who conducts public-opinion polls and is not an election worker, claimed technical problems at polling places on Election Day had disenfranchised enough voters that it would have changed the outcome of the race in Lake’s favor.
Although the analysis was never admitted into evidence at a two-day trial last week because of its unsupported assumptions, the judge said there was no case law to rule out using a statistical analysis as a way to prove a lawsuit that challenges election results.
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