A top Maricopa County election official hit back at Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake on Thursday over her accusations that election officials are intentionally slowing down vote counting in the Grand Canyon State.
“Quite frankly, it is offensive for Kari Lake to say these people behind me are slow-rolling this when they’re working 14 to 18 hours [a day],” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates said at a press conference on Thursday.
The close races for Senate and governor in Arizona have yet to be called as of Friday afternoon, with officials saying they expect to continue counting votes until “early next week” due to an influx of early ballots that were handed in on Election Day.
Lake — who has frequently called into the question the results of the 2020 election — has accused Arizona election officials of purposefully “dragging their feet” on reporting results. The Republican candidate is currently trailing Democrat Katie Hobbs by just under 27,000 votes.
“They’re slow-rolling the results, and they’re trying to delay the inevitable,” Lake told Newsmax on Thursday. “We will win this. I’m 100 percent sure of that.”
However, Gates slammed Lake over the suggestion that election officials were delaying results.
“If [Lake’s] team would have been paying attention before this election, they would have heard us talk about this over and over again — that we were not going to have results on election night or even the next day, that it was going to take several days.”
“Everybody needs to calm down a little bit, turn the rhetoric down,” he added.