Midterms /

'This is Not Normal Stuff': Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake Addresses Voting Machine Problems in Maricopa County

'If we don't have honest elections, we don't have a country'

Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake held a press conference at approximately 12:45 p.m. MST to address the reported complications voters are experiencing in areas of Maricopa County, where nearly two dozen polling locations have malfunctioning machines. 

“Do you think this is normal guys?” Lake asked reporters. “My question is, do you think what’s happening here in Maricopa County is normal?” 

We have had problems after problems. And there’s a reason we decided to change locations: we were going to go to a pretty Republican area. But I woke up this morning, and within minutes of the polls opening up, I started getting people calling, voters in tears, calling my personal number, saying, “What’s going on? The tabulators aren’t working. They told me to put my my ballot into a box and they would drive it downtown to count it.” This is not normal stuff. 

At 9 a.m. today, one-in-five ballots were not successfully going through voting tabulators and were being set aside to be counted separately, according to Nicole Grigg, a local reporter for ABC 15. 

A representative from the Secretary of State’s office told Timcast that roughly 20 voting centers in Phoenix are experiencing technical issues with machines.

“They gotta fix this problem,” Lake said. “This is incompetency. I hope it’s not malice, but we’re gonna fix it, we’re gonna win. And when we win, there’s gonna be ‘Come to Jesus’ for elections in Arizona.”

She instructed voters to stay in line until they cast their vote. 

“The people of Arizona would walk over hot coals and they would walk over broken glass to vote today,” she said. “And I know that they can stand in line for a couple hours if they have to. I know they’ll stand in line for eight hours if they have to.”

Lake expressed concerns over voters “feeling disenfranchised,” including one woman whom she saw “walk away from a line.” 

“Do you think this is normal?” she asked the reporters again. “You’re young, you didn’t vote back in the day when I started voting, where you walked up, cast your ballot, they counted it right there in the small precinct and you knew the results the night of the election. We can’t keep having elections run this way.”

Lake said she was “embarrassed” that her state has drawn attention over flaws in the election process. She added that, if elected, she will oversee election reform in Arizona and ensure that “honest, transparent elections” take place moving forward. 

“If we don’t have honest elections, we don’t have a country,” she said.

When a reporter from CBS News asked is Lake would consider running as Vice President alongside Donald Trump if he seeks re-election in 2024, Lake replied: 

I’ve answered this question. I am going to not only be the governor of Arizona for four years, I’m going to do two terms. I’m going to be your worst fricking nightmare — for eight years. And we will reform the media, as well. We’re going to make you guys into journalists again. So get ready.

Another reported asked Lake how she can have confidence in her own win if she doesn’t have confidence in the election. 

“I’m just not confident in the people who we’ve elected to run these elections,” she replied. “They’re not good at their jobs — bunch of bureaucrats who don’t know what the hell they’re doing. … I’ve always said we’ve got to win by a mile to eke out a one-inch win, but we will win.”

A final question was posed by a reporter asking if Lake supports extending voting hours. The candidate deferred her attorney, Harmeet Dhillon. 

“Look, there are six and a half hours left to vote right now,” Dhillon said. “And if you’re in line at seven o’clock, you can still vote, I think it’s not something that we want to see happen. … if the voting problems persists, we’ll have to address that issue later.”

Dhillon added: “I urge people to go and vote on time and vote in person today so that we don’t have drama. … That said, there are a lot of lawyers here … in the state ready to take action. We are on it. And I hope that litigation is not necessary here.”

Additional information about voting in Maricopa County can be found at https://elections.maricopa.gov

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