Kari Lake Could Land in Hot Water Over Tweet of Voters' Signatures

Failed Republican candidate Kari Lake could face felony charges in Arizona after tweeting out pictures of voters' signatures, as a criminal referral was sent by Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes.

Lake, who lost Arizona's gubernatorial race to Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs by over 17,000 votes, has yet to concede, claiming that the 2022 election was stolen from her by widespread voter fraud.

In Lake's election lawsuit, which was dismissed in court last month by Judge Peter Thompson, the former candidate endorsed by ex-President Donald Trump alleged that printing issues with voter machines in Maricopa County disenfranchised same-day voters. Thompson ruled in December, however, that Lake's legal team did not provide clear evidence of election workers intentionally interrupting the vote.

Lake Could Face Felony Charges in Arizona
Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks to the media after voting on November 8, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona. Lake on Monday was referred to the state attorney general by Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes over potentially breaking state laws on replicating voter records. John Moore/Getty Images

While the lawsuit awaits ruling from the Arizona Court of Appeals, Lake has stayed active on Twitter pushing her unfounded claims of fraud, including in a post last week that included 16 photocopies of voters' ballot signatures that Lake claimed were proof that nearly 40,000 ballots in November didn't match voter signatures that Arizona had on record.

"I think all the 'Election Deniers' out there deserve an apology," Lake added.

On Monday, Fontes, a Democrat, sent the referral to Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes based on Lake's tweet, saying that posting unauthorized photos of voters' signatures could be in violation of state law prohibiting "records containing a voter's signature" from being "accessible or reproduced by any person other than the voter."

Washington Post reporter Yvonne Wingett Sanchez posted a copy of Fontes' referral to Twitter.

"The protections afforded by this subsection prohibit posting any information derived from voter registration forms or precinct registers to the internet, and under no circumstance may a person other than the voter or [a] statutorily authorized person reproduce a voter's signature," read the referral.

As Fontes noted, violation of this law is a class 6 felony. According to the law firm AZ Defenders, a class 6 is the least severe in Arizona, and penalties can include fines, probation or a prison sentence from four months to 5 3/4 years.

A criminal referral, however, does not mean that Lake will be investigated by Mayes for the potential violation.

While Lake did not address the referral on her personal account, her campaign, Kari Lake War Room, tweeted Monday night, "Adrian Fontes wants Kris Mayes to investigate & potentially imprison @KariLake for the 'crime' of ... sharing signature verification evidence that was presented before the @AZSenateGOP & is currently in her lawsuit."

"Welcome to the Banana Republic of Arizona," the account added.

Fontes had faced his own election-challenging lawsuit from former GOP opponent Mark Finchem, who lost to Fontes by over 100,000 votes in November's midterm.

In Finchem's suit that was dismissed in December, Maricopa County Judge Melissa Julian ruled that nothing Finchem presented "constitutes 'misconduct' sufficient to survive dismissal.'"

Newsweek has reached out to Lake's campaign for comment.