On March 16, 2023, America’s Future along with three other nonprofit organizations jointly moved Arizona’s Supreme Court seeking Leave to File an Amicus brief respecting two cases consolidated for appeal and docketed under Lake v Hobbs, Dkt No. CV-23-0046-PR. Our Amicus Brief is located here.
The brief, filed contemporaneously with our Motion for Leave, supports Plaintiff/Appellant Kari Lake and her position regarding Arizona’s 2022 election process for governor. Ms. Lake commenced litigation as the 2022 Republican nominee for governor of the state of Arizona. Her opponent in the 2022 race, Katie Hobbs, is one of the defendants in this case. Ms. Hobbs is being sued in her capacity as Secretary of State, the government official in charge of Arizona’s election administration. For the sake of clarification, Ms. Lake’s opponent, Ms. Hobbs, was the Secretary of State and, at the same time, the Democrat Party’s nominee for governor of Arizona. Ms. Hobbs was actually in charge of running the very election she was participating in. Ms. Hobbs could have recused herself from election responsibilities, but refused, even though she was in the throes of a glaring conflict of interest. Arizona’s 2022 governor election process placed Republican Candidate Kari Lake, along with all Arizona citizens in a precarious situation, one that serves as a reminder of just how important free and fair elections are to our survival as a Constitutional Republic.
What a bizarre set of circumstances Arizona, and our country is navigating. Election integrity and public trust in the outcome of elections is at the core of our Republic. Without exception, the ultimate decision-maker with respect to certifying a vote count should not ever be the same person who is responsible for carrying out election regulations and, at the same time, one of only two candidates in the running for an elected office dependent on said vote count and regulations.
Respecting election integrity and America’s system of free and fair elections, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has plainly explained, “No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.”
Independent administration and sensible, judicious regulation of elections at the state level, is, of course, paramount to guaranteeing that every qualified voter’s right to cast a vote effectively and meaningfully, is, at all times, free from taint.
In this case, facts gleaned from the pleadings and other legal filings demonstrate that the integrity of the 2022 election for Arizona governor was an abject failure. In fact, the election was neither fair nor free from taint. Aside from the bizarre circumstances including Ms. Hobbs refusal to recuse herself as Secretary of State during her 2022 run for governor, our Amicus brief explains,
Maricopa County, in violation of Arizona law requiring all ballots to be counted upon retrieval from drop boxes, failed to actually count the EDDBs [election day drop ballots] transferred to a private third-party ballot counting firm, Runbeck, instead simply “estimating” that it transferred some 275,000…
Runbeck did in fact count the EDDBs received from the County, a total of 263,379…[However, and significantly]Runbeck’s logs reflect [Runbeck processed] 298,942 ballots, fully 35,563 more than Runbeck actually received from the County, which ballots it then sent back to Maricopa County. The number of additional ballots inserted by Runbeck is far more than the 17,117-vote certified margin of Hobbs over Lake.
As SCOTUS Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall eloquently and accurately recognized in a 1968 ruling, “Elections are of the most fundamental significance under our constitutional structure.”
America’s Future stands for free and fair elections and supports legitimate election scrutiny. Without a meaningful right to vote, no other rights survive.