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Lake witness: Signature reviewers, ballot curers told to leave early, despite ballots left over


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Lake's legal counsel said that there were more than 274,000 ballots that were approved in less than three seconds apiece.

Natalia Mittelstadt

May 17, 2023

On Wednesday, the first day of a three-day trial for Arizona 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake's election challenge, a witness testified that early ballot signature reviewers and ballot curers in Maricopa County were told to leave early, despite there being ballots that still needed reviewing or curing.

Lake attorney Kurt Olsen called as a witness Jacqueline Onigkeit, who was a level 1 signature reviewer for both the 2022 primary and general elections.

Onigkeit testified under direct examination that she was trained by Maricopa County in signature verification and that reviewers were to examine 11 points of each signature on early ballot affidavit envelopes to verify that they matched either previous envelopes or the voter registration form. Signatures were reviewed in batches of 250, which reviewers had to examine twice. Onigkeit said she completed about six to eight batches a day.

She added that they were told multiple times that they were being monitored, and if reviewers were approving or rejecting too many signatures, even after being brought in to their superior’s office to discuss it, they would be let go. The reviewers were also reminded that they could be asked to testify on the signatures that they approve and reject.


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