U.S. News

Supreme Court won't hear Kari Lake's allegations of electronic voting machine hacking

By Don Jacobson   |   April 22, 2024 at 3:42 PM
Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake on Monday lost her bid to have the Supreme Court take up her case challenging the safety and reliability of electronic voting machines. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI

April 22 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court on Monday opted not to hear a case brought by Arizona Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake and state GOP figure Mark Finchem alleging electronic voting machines are vulnerable to hacking.

The nation's highest court denied certiorari in the case of Kari Lake, et al. vs. Fontes, Ariz. Sec. of State, et al. in an order list published Monday, continuing a string of legal setbacks for the Republican candidates on the issue.


The move lets stand a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year in which the appellate panel dismissed the pair's contentions that electronic vote-counting machines in Maricopa County had been "hacked" and "manipulated."

The suit was filed in 2022 as Lake was running for governor and Finchem was seeking to become Arizona's secretary of state. Both lost their elections that year.

Lake, an ardent backer of former President Donald Trump, is now running for Arizona's open Senate seat following a decision by independent incumbent Kyrsten Sinema to not seek re-election. She is opposed by Democratic congressman Ruben Gallego.

In their suit, Lake and Finchem sought to ban the use of electronic voting machines, denying the results of Republican election losses and claiming that, despite safeguards, "electronic tabulation systems are particularly susceptible to hacking by non-governmental actors who intend to influence election results."

In its opinion, the 9th Circuit ruled that "although the operative complaint cites opinions by purported experts on manipulation risk and alleges that difficulties have occurred in other states using electronic tabulation systems, it does not contend that any electronic tabulation machine in Arizona has ever been hacked.

"And, on appeal, counsel for plaintiffs conceded that their arguments were limited to potential future hacking, and not based on any past harm."

The appellate court found that "none of plaintiffs' allegations supported 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."

Their case had earlier been tossed out by Arizona state courts.

"We are obviously disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to review the decisions of the Arizona district court," Lake attorney Kurt Olsen said in a statement to The Hill, contending the ruling was made on the basis of lack of standing rather than on "the merits of the case."

"Although the Supreme Court grants review in less than 1% of cases presented on petition, we believe we presented a case," he said.