Arizona’s Court of Appeals has agreed to expedite’s consideration of the election fraud case brought by Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.
Lake has been battling in court over allegations that the 2022 gubernatorial election was stolen from her by Democrat Katie Hobbs.
The court ordered a reset of “the matter for conference on February 1, 2023.”
A brief order was issued on January 9 and made public the next day.
The court agrees with Lake’s arguments that her challenge should be handled as a “special action petition.”
The court date was reportedly scheduled for March.
Lawyers for Democrat Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, the state’s former secretary of state, has until January 17 to respond to the court’s ruling.
According to the order, Hobbs and her lawyers must argue why Lake’s challenge should be rejected.
In December, a Maricopa County judge rejected her case after a two-day trial.
After the ruling, Lake petitioned both the state’s Appeals Court and Supreme Court.
Earlier this month, the Arizona Supreme Court denied Lake’s petition to transfer her election lawsuit to the high court.
It said the case must be heard before the Appeals Court first.
In December, Lake filed a lawsuit against Hobbs in her capacity as secretary of state, Maricopa County supervisors, Maricopa Recorder Stephen Richer, and other officials.
Lake, a former broadcast journalist, asserts that the county’s handling of the election was seriously flawed and disenfranchised Election Day voters.
She argues that such disenfranchisement and election voting issues were enough to swing the election in Hobbs’ favor.
Lake lost by just 17,000 votes.
A Maricopa County judge, Peter Thompson, threw out Lake’s lawsuit on December 24 and said she did not produce enough evidence.
However, he ruled that Lake should not be sanctioned and fined hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Days before that, Thompson tossed out 8 of Lake’s 10 election claims.
A portion of Lake’s lawsuit included claims that she would have won or had a better chance of winning if dozens of Maricopa County ballot printers worked properly on Election Day.
A number of those printers created ballots that couldn’t be read by tabulators.
Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates and Richer confirmed the issue during a November 8 news conference.
The election officials told voters to place those ballots in drop-boxes or find another location to vote.
Supervisors in Maricopa recently sought to produce a report to determine why those ballot printers didn’t work in November.
They hired former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor to carry out an investigation, the county confirmed last week.
Lake’s lawyers previously argued that those Maricopa officials allegedly “admitted, after first denying, that illegally misconfigured ballots were injected into the election” and triggered the “tabulators to reject tens of thousands of ballots.”
Lawyers stated Republican voters on Election Day were “disproportionally impacted.”
During the two-day trial, Lake called on independent pollster Richard Baris, who testified that he believes the Election Day technical problems disenfranchised enough voters that it would have changed the outcome of the race.
Maricopa Election Day voters, he asserted, mostly trended Republican and that between 25,000 to 40,000 people who would normally have voted actually didn’t cast ballots as a result of the tabulator and printer errors.
Baris told the court that his estimate was primarily influenced by the number of people who began answering his exit polls but didn’t finish the process during the midterm contest.