Arizona’s Democrat Secretary of State Adrian Fontes issued a criminal referral against Kari Lake over social media posts from the Republican gubernatorial candidate regarding her election fraud lawsuit.
Fontes sent the referral to Arizona’s Republican Attorney General Kris Mayes, asking the AG to investigate Lake for potential violations of state law.
The move came after Lake posted voter signatures online as evidence for her case.
Lake lost Arizona’s gubernatorial race to Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs by over 17,000 votes.
She filed a lawsuit protesting the election but it was dismissed.
Judge Peter Thompson said Lake’s legal team did not provide clear evidence of election workers intentionally interrupting the vote as a reason to dismiss the case.
In AZ—> Arizona’s new Secretary of State Adrian Fontes sent the following letter to AZ AG Kris Mayes this afternoon, referring Kari Lake for investigation for what, he says, was a violation of state law by tweeting out copies of voter signatures in her tweet, below. https://t.co/RTHXR3FXu0 pic.twitter.com/pIG9XniwqC
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) January 30, 2023
The criminal referral says: “The protections afforded by this subsection prohibit posting any information derived from voter registration forms or precinct registers to the internet, and under no circumstance may a person other than the voter or [a] statutorily authorized person reproduce a voter’s signature.”
NEW IN ARIZONA: Secretary of State @Adrian_Fontes, D, asks Attorney General @AZAGMayes, D, to investigate @KariLake, R, over potential violations of state law involving the public airing of voter signatures. The @washingtonpost obtained Fontes’ referral. pic.twitter.com/6HL7YOsAZz
— YvonneWingettSanchez 🏜 (@yvonnewingett) January 31, 2023
According to Newsweek:
As Fontes noted, violation of this law is a class 6 felony.
According to the law firm AZ Defenders, a class 6 is the least severe in Arizona, and penalties can include fines, probation or a prison sentence from four months to 5 3/4 years.
A criminal referral, however, does not mean that Lake will be investigated by Mayes for the potential violation.
According to CNN:
The request by Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, a Democrat elected to the office last November, comes after Lake posted a tweet on January 23 that made an unfounded claim that 40,000 ballots didn’t match voter signatures that the state has on record.
Lake posted a graphic that showed 16 voter signatures, alleging that they didn’t match with what Arizona has on file.
In a letter to Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, Fontes requested “appropriate enforcement action against Kari Lake” for publishing those 16 voter signatures.
Fontes cites a state law that prohibits reproducing voter signatures other than the voter or a legally authorized person. Fontes’ letter states that violation of that law is a felony.
.@KariLake held a rally tonight in Scottsdale, AZ with 4X capacity trying to get in. Overflow space filled to the max and the outside lawn filled too.
The grassroots movement is real. Doubt it and question it at your own risk. pic.twitter.com/vbUN1ULu0M
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) January 30, 2023