Top Arizona election official requests probe of Kari Lake over potential campaign violation

Arizona’s top election official is requesting an investigation into Kari Lake, the Trump-backed GOP candidate who lost her campaign for governor in November, for a potential campaign violation over the disclosure of voter signatures.

In a letter dated Monday, Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes asks state Attorney General Kris Mayes to investigate and “take appropriate enforcement action” against Lake for potential violations of state law, citing a tweet Lake posted last week that boosts false claims of election fraud in the governor’s race.

Fontes points to “a graphic containing images of sixteen voter signatures” in Lake’s tweet, which he argued violates state law that prohibits a voter’s signature from being “accessible or reproduced by any person other than the voter.”

The Washington Post first reported the letter, which Mayes’ office shared with NBC News without providing further comment. Lake did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment.

Lake has repeatedly boosted unsubstantiated claims of election fraud in the 2020 and 2022 elections. In a tweet posted Jan. 23, Lake claimed that 40,000 ballots didn’t match voter signatures in Arizona’s records. The tweet includes a graphic showing 16 voter signatures.

“I think all the ‘Election Deniers’ out there deserve an apology,” Lake tweeted.

Despite Lake’s loss in Arizona’s race for governor to then-Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in November, Lake has made several unsuccessful attempts to overturn her defeat. Lake lost to Hobbs by more than 17,000 votes.

Last month, a judge threw out Lake’s challenge to her defeat, rejecting her claims of misconduct with ballot printers and problems with ballot chain of custody.

The Arizona Supreme Court last week also rejected Lake’s second request that it review her challenge of the results of the 2022 election. An appeals court is set to have a hearing later this week.

During a “Save Arizona Rally” on Sunday evening, Lake maintained that she is the rightful governor and that Hobbs is a “squatter in the governor’s office.”

Trump also called into the rally to voice his continued support of Lake. “Ultimately, she’s going to be victorious,” the former president told the crowd.

Vaughn Hillyard contributed.

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