Elections expert says Kari Lake tweet 'looks like a felony'
Kari Lake speaks during CPAC Texas 2022 conference. (Shutterstock.com)

Kari Lake, the 2022 GOP gubernatorial candidate who has spent nearly three months claiming that she won the election, may have committed a felony by illegally tweeting confidential information, an elections expert tells the Mesa, Arizona NBC News affiliate KPNX.

This comes after Arizona Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes requested an investigation into Lake’s tweet, which alleged that 40,000 ballots were "illegally counted" and included 16 voters signatures.

Tammy Patrick, former Maricopa County elections official and Chief Executive for Programs at National Association of Election Administrators, said that aside from “very few exceptions,” voter signatures should “never” be distributed in any way.

“Arizona statute is very clear about when and where a voter signature can be shared or replicated or reproduced, or put online or used in social media,” Patrick said. "When I read the law, it looks to me like that's a felony.”

On Tuesday, the Republican National Committee’s “National Election Integrity Team” released a draft “election integrity” report, which restates the GOP talking point that more secure “access to the ballot box is needed in the face of a ‘continuing onslaught of Democrat election manipulation.’”

But Patrick warns Lake's tweet may have the opposite effect and may, in fact, harm election integrity.

"Having signatures being promoted and presented online and other places actually does great harm to the potential integrity of the outcome of an election," he said.

According to 12News, defying the Arizona statute could lead to a jail sentence.

Regarding the investigation, Fontes said in a statement, "It is my responsibility to protect Arizona voters. In keeping with my duties, I have referred this matter to the attorney general."