Recap: Fiery Moments from Day 1 of Kari Lake Election Court Battle

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Day one of the Kari Lake election challenge investigating potential violations of the signature verification process in Maricopa County was off to a fiery start Wednesday, as Lake’s defense presented evidence most ballots were approved without review.

The courtroom showdown comes as Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter A. Thompson agreed to hear Lake’s arguments on the signature verification process this week after the Arizona Supreme Court sent the case back to lower courts in March.

Check out highlights from Wednesday’s hearing below:

Lake’s attorney Kurt Olsen argued it was not physically possible for 11 workers to have approved 170K signatures on ballots unless they were skipping steps.

“This isn’t a question of not doing it well enough, Maricopa County simply isn’t doing signature verification,” Olsen later added.

A whistleblower called to the stand as a witnessed who worked on election day testified she was sent home early during vote tallies despite ballots still needing to be cured.

She added before being asked to leave she and other election workers were “catching signatures” that did not match.

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She further added some ballots she’d sent for re-review were sent back because review managers were bombarded with ballots.

She added she and other workers felt pressured to approve ballots when they were sent back for re-review after having been rejected, saying, “We felt uncomfortable about approving what we had already rejected. We’d already went through them.”

The whistleblower added that after normal level 1 signature verifiers were sent home early, the signature review process was continued at the County Recorder’s Office, where there were no observers.

The court also saw damning surveillance footage from inside a ballot counting facility which showed election workers simply approving ballots without scrolling down on their computer monitor to actually verify signatures.

The witness was subsequently asked about the video, to which she responded, “The person on the right was doing it correctly and the person on the left was not… there’s no possible way to click through that and be able to verify from the past history in order to verify that signature.”

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer defended the signature verification process.

During the hearing, Richer tweeted a comment stating, “This moron doesn’t understand that we can do signature verification from any computer in our office.” He subsequently deleted the tweet which suggested that signature verification may have taken place without proper observer oversight.

The admission in the deleted tweet was caught by Lake’s team.

In a stunning admission by Maricopa County’s defense attorney, he admitted the employee seen in the video was fired, however there was no indication his workload was re-processed, meaning several ballots had no signature verification whatsoever.

Witness Shelby Busch said she verified the video shown was authentic and showed what it was purported to show.

Another whistleblower testified he was concerned about why there were only three level two signature verifiers, when there had been 40 level one workers.

He also added he’d also been sent back ballots he’d rejected for re-review.

Watch full segments from inside the courtroom below:

Start below video at 59:18:

Stay tuned tomorrow for updates from Day 2 of the two-day legal showdown.

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