PHOENIX (AP) — The trial in a lawsuit brought by Kari Lake, the defeated Arizona Republican nominee for governor, to get access to 1.3 million voters' signed ballot envelopes is now in the hands of a judge after wrapping up midday Monday.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah said he would issue a ruling as soon as possible after closing arguments in the two-day bench trial.
Lake was not in attendance after appearing Thursday.
Maricopa County election officials argue state law mandates the signatures on the envelopes remain confidential.
Lake's lawyer counters she has a right to look into how the county runs its election operations and that people's signatures are public in other places, such as property deeds.
This is Lake's third trial related to her election loss. Lake previously lost two trials that challenged her competitor Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs' win by more than 17,000 votes. In the second trial, a judge rejected a misconduct claim Lake made about ballot signature verification efforts in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and where more than 60% of the state’s voters live.
The former TV anchor’s latest case doesn’t challenge her defeat and instead is a public records lawsuit that asks to review all early ballot envelopes with voter signatures in Maricopa County, where officials had denied her request for those documents.
In Arizona, the envelopes for early voting ballots serve as affidavits in which voters declare, under penalty of perjury, that they are registered to vote in the county, haven’t already voted and will not vote again in that election.