The lawsuit petition filed by Kari Lake, seeking access to the signed ballots of 1.3 million early voters in Arizona, was denied by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge.
The ruling rendered by Judge John Hannah on Thursday prevented Lake from obtaining the envelopes pertaining to the 2022 gubernatorial election, which she ultimately lost to the incumbent Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs.
Hannah posited that disclosing the ballot envelopes and the signatures on them would compromise the integrity of the ballot verification procedure in subsequent elections.
Early ballots comprised 84% of the ballots processed during the general election cycle of the previous year, according to the filing.
It was the responsibility of the County Recorder’s office to validate the ballots.
After discovering 16,000 signatures that were inconsistent, the office later determined that 14,200 of the signatories were lawful voters.
Never were the remaining 1,800 envelopes inspected or tallied.
Lake initiated legal proceedings against the office of County Recorder Stephen Richer in April, invoking the Arizona Public Records Law.
The 12-page ruling elaborated on how a former election worker testified during the September trial of the case that she received threats following the online publication of videos depicting her preparing equipment to comply with a subpoena issued by the state Senate in response to its review of the 2020 election.
Two trials challenging Lake’s loss to Hobbs last year, in which she was defeated by just over 17,000 votes, have been unsuccessful.
In her second trial, which was dismissed in May, she alleged that signature verification in Maricopa County, which is home to approximately 4.5 million individuals, was flawed.