Former Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s epic courtroom battle challenging the signature verification process in Maricopa County drew to a conclusion Friday, leaving the fate of the case hanging in the balance.
Lake’s attorneys argued signatures weren’t properly verified in the 2022 governor’s race, potentially allowing thousands of illegal ballots to be cast.
Catch up with coverage from the last two days:
Check out highlights from Day 3 below via tweets from people who were actively monitoring developments:
Maricopa County Election Director Reynaldo Valenzuela again took the stand Friday, providing perplexing responses that seemed to contradict facts previously established in the case. He testified Thursday County employees had the ability to log in remotely and conduct signature verifications.
On Friday he was asked questions about a viral video showing a signature verifier blasting through the process.
Here’s that viral video:
Asked, “Mr. Valenzuela, do you know the difference between an average & a percentage?” he replied, “No. I do not.”
The Kari Lake War Room celebrated Valenzuela’s remarkably bad testimony on Twitter, assuring followers he was not their witness.
Via Arizona Sun Times reporter Rachel Alexander:
MaRICOpa County Elections Director Rey Valenzuela is testifying at Kari Lake’s election trial that the reason 70k signatures were verified in less than a second is because they were early ballots that didn’t need verification, such as people who showed up on election day with their early ballot and showed an ID instead. He found close to 70k with excuses like that. Well even if that was true, that doesn’t excuse all the signatures that were verified in 1 second, 2 second, 3 second, etc. Because there were tens of thousands of those. I’d love to ask Level 1 reviewer Andy Meyers who testified on Wednesday if he reviewed signatures in that short of time, whether it’s possible, since handwriting expert Erich Speckin said yesterday that it’s not.
“Kari Lake’s attorney Brian Blehm just got MaRICOpa County Elections Director Rey Valenzuela to admit that it can take “3, 4 or 20 seconds” to verify a signature if it doesn’t appear right away to be an exact match. That means all the thousands of verifications by one reviewer averaging one or two seconds don’t make sense,” wrote Alexander.
Valenzuela later admitted, “There is no such thing as an exact signature match.”
Arizona Sun Times correspondent Rachel Alexander reports:
In closing statement in the Kari Lake election trial, her attorney Kurt Olsen is impeaching the testimony of MaRICOpa County Elections Director Rey Valenzuela, who claimed that Erich Speckin of Speckin Forensics included ballots in his signature verification chart (which showed ridiculously low times to verify signatures) that took less than a second because they were automatically added since they didn’t involve signature verification. Olsen is pointing out that Speckin specifically said in his testimony yesterday that he did NOT include those automated ballots.
Kari Lake’s attorney Kurt Olsen is just destroying MaRICOpa County’s defense. He pointed out that MaRICOpa County Election Director Rey Valenzuela admitted that his acceptance rate for his personal signature review of 1,600 ballots was 81%. This is in contrast to the signature verification workers with the “sham clicking through” who had 99.99% or close to that approval rates.
In the defense’s closing arguments, they claimed Lake’s team failed to show that “there was no signature verification performed at all.”
Watch full segments from Day 3 of the trial: