Supreme Court brushes aside Kari Lake lawsuit over electronic voting machines

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a lawsuit brought by Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake challenging the use of electronic voting machines in Arizona.

The lawsuit, which was filed by Ms Lake and Republican state lawmaker Mark Finchem during her failed 2022 campaign for governor, sought to block electronic voting machines from being used in Arizona and questioned whether they assured “a fair and accurate vote”.

They argued that Arizona’s use of electronic voting machines violated their right to vote under the US Constitution and Arizona law because the machines are “inherently vulnerable” to cyberattacks and voter fraud and could not be relied on to yield objective and accurate vote tallies.

The case was rejected by a federal judge in 2022, and that dismissal was affirmed by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in October last year.

“On appeal, plaintiffs conceded that their arguments were limited to potential future hacking, and not based on any past harm,” the 9th Circuit wrote.

“In the end, none of plaintiffs’ allegations supports a plausible inference that their individual votes in future elections will be adversely affected by the use of electronic tabulation, particularly given the robust safeguards in Arizona law, the use of paper ballots, and the post-tabulation retention of those ballots,” it added.

Kari Lake listens as John Barrasso speaks at a news conference in Phoenix, Arizona (Getty Images)
Kari Lake listens as John Barrasso speaks at a news conference in Phoenix, Arizona (Getty Images)

In her appeal to the Supreme Court, Ms Lake’s attorneys claimed that they had sufficiently argued that all “Arizona-certified optical scanners and ballot marking devices, as well as the software on which they rely, have been wrongly certified for use”.

They added that they had shown that Arizona’s voting machines had been “hacked” and “manipulated”.

But their claims were ultimately rejected by the nation’s highest court on Monday without comment, which is common.

“We are obviously disappointed that the US Supreme Court decided not to review the decisions of the Arizona district court and the Ninth Circuit, and order that our challenge to the 2022 election procedures be heard on the merits,” Kurt Olsen, one of the attorneys that sought to get the Supreme Court to consider the case, said in a statement following the decision.

“The Kari Lake and Mark Finchem case was dismissed based on a purported lack of standing to assert an injury,” he added. “Therefore, the courts, even now, have not ruled on the merits of our case. We will continue to raise these issues, especially in light of the upcoming 2024 election.”

Republicans including Ms Lake, Mr Finchem, and former president Donald Trump have sought to cast doubt about the 2020 and 2022 election results in states including Arizona, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

These results have been consistently upheld.