It’s been nearly three months since Kari Lake lost her bid to be governor of Arizona, and like her hero, Donald Trump, she won’t go away. Instead she’s cried voter fraud without supplying clear evidence backing her claims. She’s even had her own experts screw up her defense. The former anti-Trumpist’s actions probably won’t get her installed in the job she didn’t get, but it might send her somewhere else instead: to jail.
As per Newsweek, Arizona secretary of state Adrian Fontes has sent a criminal referral to the state’s attorney general, Kris Mayes, arguing that Lake committed a felony by tweeting out pictures of voters’ signatures. In a tweet from last week, Lake claimed that there were nearly 40,000 illegally counted votes allegedly featuring mismatched signatures.
“I think all the ‘Election Deniers’ out there deserve an apology,” Lake wrote.
Instead of changing minds, Lake may have incriminated herself. In his criminal referral, Fontes said posting unauthorized voter signatures was in violation of a state law that outlawed “records containing a voter’s signature” from being “accessible or reproduced by any person other than the voter.”
NEW IN ARIZONA: Secretary of State @Adrian_Fontes, D, asks Attorney General @AZAGMayes, D, to investigate @KariLake, R, over potential violations of state law involving the public airing of voter signatures. The @washingtonpost obtained Fontes’ referral. pic.twitter.com/6HL7YOsAZz
— YvonneWingettSanchez 🏜 (@yvonnewingett) January 31, 2023
“The protections afforded by this subsection prohibit posting any information derived from voter registration forms or precinct registers to the internet, and under no circumstance may a person other than the voter or [a] statutorily authorized person reproduce a voter’s signature,” reads the referral.
Fontes pointed out that violating this law results in a class 6 felony. It’s the least severe of the state’s felonies, but its penalties can result in fines, probation or a prison sentence between four months and 5 ¾ years. It’s not yet known if the Mayes will investigate.
Lake herself has not weighed in on scoring a criminal referral, but her campaign Twitter account, Kari Lake War Room, did. “Adrian Fontes wants Kris Mayes to investigate & potentially imprison @KariLake for the ‘crime’ of … sharing signature verification evidence that was presented before the @AZSenateGOP & is currently in her lawsuit,” the account wrote. “Welcome to the Banana Republic of Arizona.”
Meanwhile, some on the far right, including Steve Bannon and Lake herself, have been referring to her as the state’s real governor, despite her getting fewer votes than the since sworn-in Katie Hobbs. Will she keep doing that from the slammer? We may find out.