Kari Lake Says Maricopa Election Officials 'Need to Be Locked Up,' Vows to Burn 'House of Cards' to the Ground


Kari Lake is angry. And she’s not going to sit back and take what she sees as an affront to the founding principles of the United States of America.

On Sunday, Arizona Republican Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake said Maricopa County election officials need to be “locked up” for the botched 2022 Arizona election, as reported by The Hill.

Lake was speaking at Turning Point USA’s America Fest in Phoenix. The crowd was compiled mostly of young conservatives. Lake focused on the 2022 Arizona gubernatorial election results, making allegations about both the 2020 presidential election and DemocraticGov.-elect Katie Hobbs’s “victory,” which Lake will be challenging in court this week.

“These people are crooks,” she said about Maricopa County election officials. “They need to be locked up.”

Lake added, “I’m not just going to knock that house of cards over. We’re going to burn it to the ground.”

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Maricopa County is Arizona’s most populous jurisdiction and includes Phoenix. One of Lake’s claims is that there was voter disenfranchisement in the county after some Election Day vote centers experienced printer malfunctions.

Election officials, of course, had to acknowledge the printer issues because they were there for the whole world to see. But they insisted the disruptions had no real impact because affected voters could use one of the multiple backup options.

However, according to the Daily Caller, Maricopa County’s election disruption was more widespread than the same officials claimed.

On the day of the election, eleven attorneys were tasked with observing election processes in the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) Election Integrity program in Arizona. According to a memo from one of the attorneys, Mark Sonnenklar, the eleven visited nearly 52 percent of the county’s voting centers. The memo alleged that 72 of the 115 visited centers visited, around 60 percent, saw “material problems with the tabulators not being able to tabulate ballots,” resulting in “substantial voter suppression.”

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“It is certainly safe to assume that many voters refused to wait in such lines, left the vote center, and did not return to vote later,” the memo read. “A survey of the electorate could easily confirm such an assumption.”

Is something rotten in the State of Arizona? We need to know.

Lake likened her challenge to the election to the Founding Fathers rejecting British tyranny. She insisted that the blood of the Founders is “coursing through our veins.”

“They were fed up with tyrants, and they weren’t going to take it anymore,” Lake said. “I think we’re right there, right now, aren’t we?”

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Lake may have had in mind the words of Thomas Jefferson in a letter to James Madison dated January 20, 1887. “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.”

The printer debacle is only the gust in front of the storm. There is also ballot chain of custody issues, as reported by The Hill.

The most glaring problem for outside observers is the fact that Katie Hobbs, Lake’s gubernatorial opponent, was in charge of certifying the election.

Enter Stephen Richer, the Maricopa County Recorder and a member of the Republican Party. Last fall, Richer formed the political action committee Pro-Democracy Republicans PAC. The PAC’s website claimed the time has come for Republicans to “accept and acknowledge” that Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, according to Newsweek.

Lake, who is still skeptical about the 2020 election, criticized Richer in a tweet. “The man in charge of Maricopa Co’s disastrous elections is Stephen Richer. He ran an anti-Kari Lake PAC,” as reported by Newsweek.

Lake went on to say at America Fest, “The two guys in Maricopa County who run the elections started a super PAC with the intention to destroy one candidate.” That one candidate of course, was her.

CNN is on record calling Lake a liar. MSNBC goes so far as to spit, “Kari Lake Leans Into Bogus Fraud Claims In Arizona; Risks Stoking Extremist Violence.”

The usual froth of smears stirred up by political tempests — finger-pointing and name-calling galore.

One side would have you believe that even suggesting the elections in Arizona were and are suspect proves you are a raving conspiracy theorist or worse. The other side would have you believe that the 2022 elections in Arizona were a complete mess. From Lake’s perspective, it was a crime.

Both sides can’t be right. Or can they? A conspiracy theory can turn out to be either true or false. In this case, Americans must know which it is. The question is, will the courts do their job or punt? If the 2020 election is any indicator, they are likely to do the latter. Time will tell.

In hoping for a punt, Katie Hobbs, in both her capacities as secretary of state and as a gubernatorial candidate, has requested a state judge to dismiss Lake’s election challenge. Oral arguments on the motion are set for Monday, and a two-day trial is scheduled for later this week if the case moves forward.

At Sunday’s event, Lake said she wasn’t sure how the judge would rule on the dismissal motion, asking the crowd to pray for him. “We’ve seen judges dismiss cases. I don’t want you to get discouraged.”

If the judge does dismiss the case, it won’t stop the firebrand Lake. “It could happen,” she told the crowd. “We’re going to kick this right up to the Supreme Court, and I will not stop fighting.”

That’s the spirit!

For an outside observer like me, the fact that Hobbs was in charge of an election in which she was running is a blatant conflict of interest. I’m not alone.

Arizona political insiders were calling for Hobbs to recuse herself from election duties before the election, including two former Arizona secretaries of state, a Democrat and a Republican, according to TIME.

They both emphasized the need to avoid even the appearance of a conflict. Everybody was aware that the election had the potential to spark a political storm.

“I think it would be wise if the secretary of state seconded responsibility for ministerial oversight to either the attorney general or the Maricopa County recorder,” Democrat Richard Mahoney told TIME. He was talking about Hobbs.

“She should recuse herself from the official acts that she would normally perform as secretary and let a deputy secretary or somebody else take care of those,” Republican Ken Bennett said.

When Democrats and Republicans agree on a matter such as this, one should take pause. Something is wrong in Arizona.

If the courts don’t get to the bottom of the 2022 Arizona election debacle, doubt will continue to fester. Sores, left unattended, begin to stink.

Can you smell it?

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Jack Gist has published books, short stories, poems, essays, and opinion pieces in outlets such as The Imaginative Conservative, Catholic World Report, Crisis Magazine, Galway Review, and others. His genre-bending novel The Yewberry Way: Prayer (2023) is the first installment of a trilogy that explores the relationship between faith and reason. He can be found at
Jack Gist has published books, short stories, poems, essays, and opinion pieces in outlets such as The Imaginative Conservative, Catholic World Report, Crisis Magazine, Galway Review, and others. His genre-bending novel The Yewberry Way: Prayer (2023) is the first installment of a trilogy that explores the relationship between faith and reason. He can be found at