Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates criticized Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake of Arizona Thursday over her criticism of the slow pace of the vote count.
“Quite frankly it’s offensive for Kari Lake to say that these people behind me are slow rolling this when they’re working 14 to 18 hours. So I really hope this is the end of that now. We can be patient and respect the results when they come out,” Gates said in remarks to a local station that were broadcast on CNN Friday.
Lake, who currently trails Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, 50.7% to 49.3% with 78% of the votes in according to the New York Times, accused election officials of “slow rolling” the count during a Thursday appearance on Newsmax, telling guest host Bianca de la Garza that she expected to win and changes to the state’s election processes would be a top priority.
Arizona election officials said Thursday over 290,000 early ballots remain to be counted in Maricopa County, part of over 619,000 ballots yet to be counted in the state.
Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly leads Republican challenger Blake Masters, 51.7% to 46.1%, also with 78% of votes in.
“The people of Arizona are sick and tired of elections being run like we’re in some banana republic, and we won’t have it anymore,” Lake said, calling the situation “ridiculous.” “We’re going to win this. Everybody in this state knows we’re going to win it. I was running against a basement candidate who didn’t even campaign, didn’t debate, and the people didn’t vote for her.”
Lake criticized the handling of the 2022 election after over 20% of ballot tabulators malfunctioned Tuesday, prompting an unsuccessful lawsuit to extend voting hours in Maricopa County.
“They got to fix this problem. This is incompetency. I hope it’s not malice,” Lake said Tuesday after voting. “But we are going to fix it, we are going to win and when we win there’s going to be a ‘come to Jesus’ for elections in Arizona.”