Republican candidate Kari Lake is calling for a partial do-over in Arizona’s governor election. It’s the most high-profile dispute yet to emerge in a midterm cycle that handed defeats to Lake and other candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Lake’s race was called in favor of her Democratic opponent Katie Hobbs on Monday. Hobbs’ victory was narrow: with 98 percent of votes counted on Thursday, she leads Lake by only 17,200 votes, according to NBC News.
While no formal challenge to the election has been made yet, the Lake campaign has pointed to tabulation machines that malfunctioned on Election Day across Maricopa County – where most of Arizona’s population lives – as evidence that Republican voters were disenfranchised.
“Imagine if the tabulators had worked in primarily red districts!” Lake’s campaign tweeted Wednesday, adding that the election had been “irreparably compromised.” “The appropriate thing to do would be to let Maricopa County cast their votes again.”
The problem stemmed from too-light printer ink and affected 70 of 223 polling places in the county, with no particular bias against Republican-leaning precincts, according to a Washington Post analysis. But the problem took voters’ time and drew suspicion, as they were asked to leave their unreadable ballots so they could be counted elsewhere.
The campaign has continued questioning the election results, retweeting videos that appear to show glitching tabulation machines and comments alleging political interference
Lake on Wednesday night tweeted a montage of campaign footage over Tom Petty’s song “I Won’t Back Down.” The night her race was called, she tweeted, “Arizonans know BS when they see it.”
The narrow margin of votes separating Lake and Hobbs has come close to triggering an automatic recount, which Arizona law mandates at a difference of .5 percent or less of the total vote. That figure currently stands at .67 percent, according to results on NBC News.