With so many supposed “issues” with voting machines and a razor-thin margin in her race for Governor Kari Lake has refused to go down without a fight.
She’s spent weeks fighting an uphill battle against the establishment elite to get to the bottom of what happened and ensure the election’s integrity.
But now Kari Lake’s fight in Arizona got a big boost after this election official’s impropriety was completely exposed.
As Maricopa County Recorder, Stephan Richer is the election official ultimately responsible for ensuring that all of Arizona’s most populous county’s elections are executed properly.
But on Richer’s watch, a reported 48% of the county’s election precincts suffered “printer and tabulator issues” throughout Election Day, as ballots were apparently being printed incorrectly causing tabulators to reject thousands of legal, legitimate ballots.
That fact has made Richer the central figure in all of the controversy at the heart of the Maricopa County election scandal.
Or course, the fact that he founded Pro-Democracy Republicans PAC, a political action committee with the sole purpose of defeating conservatives and electing RINOs like former Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), hasn’t helped his case either.
In fact, according to Arizona state Rep. Jake Hoffman, Richer’s activities with the PAC may have violated state law.
“The Attorney General laid out multiple violations of the law – numerous, in fact,” Hoffman told The Arizona Sun Times. “Recorder Richer created a political action committee specifically to oppose candidates that were on the ballot in the election that he was tasked with overseeing. There is clearly misconduct – 16-672 in Arizona Revised statutes is one area that we are looking into to hold these guys accountable. But conflicts of interest is another area we’re looking into.”
“And quite honestly, they have embarrassed not only this state, not only this county, but they’ve embarrassed the country right now,” he continued. “We are the laughing stock of the world, thanks to these guys, and they need to resign. And if they won’t resign, we will do everything in our power to hold them accountable, come this new legislative session.”
The Arizona Sun Times also pointed out that as a practicing attorney, Richer could have violated the Arizona State Bar’s code of ethics by running the partisan group.
“Running the PAC may also run afoul of the Arizona State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct. Richer is an attorney and a member of the bar. Ethical Rule (ER) 8.4 on Misconduct, which includes activities outside of practicing law, prohibits several types of behavior that operating the PAC may violate,” The Sun Times reported. “Section (c) states that it is professional misconduct to ‘engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.’ Section (d) prohibits ‘conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.’ Section (e) says an attorney may not ‘state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.’”
“Comment 5 after the rule states, ‘Lawyers holding public office assume legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens,” the report continued. “A lawyer’s abuse of public office can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of lawyers.’”
After Election Day, Maricopa County admitted that roughly 17,000 ballots were effected by the supposed “printer and tabulator issues.”
Coincidentally, Kari Lake trails her Democrat opponent, Katie Hobbs, by roughly 17,000 votes – hence the reason Lake won’t concede until Maricopa County’s issues are straightened out.
And apparently, the establishment elites and their Fake News allies want Arizonans, and Americans at large, to believe that the fact that the county’s top election official was actively running a PAC that was helping fund efforts to oppose Lake is a non-issue.
To their credit, though, The Arizona Mirror saw this sort of thing coming from a mile away over a year ago when Richer announced his intentions with the PAC.
The Mirror noted that it was “highly unusual” for an elections official, like Richer, “to get involved in elections the way he’s planning to do, and by spending in elections that his office will oversee, he may open himself up to allegations of impropriety from candidates his PAC opposes.”
Now, a year later, that prediction has proven to be spot on, as there is clearly plenty of evidence against Richer that supports significant investigations into Maricopa County’s elections.
It looks highly unlikely that any court will do anything to help Lake at this point, given the size of Hobbs’ current lead.
Not acting certainly wouldn’t help a huge swath of voters have any greater faith in the integrity of the election. But the same would be true for another segment of the electorate if there were judicial intervention.
Unfortunately, the election process has become so bungled that controversies and long-delayed results now seem the norm.
That is always going to be a recipe for some significant part of the population to doubt election outcomes and the ultimate result will be terrible for our country if that continues to be the case.
At the very least – with everything that’s already known about him – getting election officials like Stephan Richer out of office would be a great start.
Political Animal News will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.