On Election Day, dozens of polling locations ran into printer issues causing their machines to reject ballots, which impacted tens of thousands of votes. As Secretary of State, gubernatorial Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs was in charge of overseeing the election after failing to recuse herself.
According to a joint statement from Chairman Bill Gates and Vice Chairman Clint Hickman, Arizona elections officials will investigate the problems, and they attempted to assure voters that "All ballots will be counted securely and accurately.”
"Over the past 24 hours, we have learned more about the printer issue that caused some ballots to not be read at Vote Centers yesterday. While the issue impacted less than 7% of Election Day voters (about 17,000 ballots), we understand that for people who went through it, this was frustrating, inconvenient, and not how they pictured Election Day."
The pair added, "We plan to get to the bottom of it."
According to the statement, "The printer settings for the Ballot-On-Demand printers at Vote Centers were the same ones we used in the August Primary. The paper was the same thickness. Prior to the General Election, the Elections Department test-printed and test-tabulated hundreds of ballots without issue.”
"We are committed to finding out what factors changed that led to issues at 70 Vote Centers on Tuesday. We are grateful to county techs who found a fix to the problem by adjusting printer settings.”
"The good news is election administration has built-in redundancies — backup plans when things don’t go as planned. This enables all valid votes to count even if technology, on occasion, fails. Voters impacted by the printer issue had several ways to cast their ballot yesterday, including dropping their completed ballot into a secure box (door 3) on-site. Those ballots will be verified as legitimate and then tabulated at MCTEC. That process is already underway."
The statement concluded "Once we get through this election, we are committed to finding the root cause of the issue so that it does not happen again. And we are confident in the work still to be done to count every vote securely and accurately."
On Wednesday night, Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake called out her opponent and Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a fellow Republican as "incompetent."
"[Those] are people who brought their mail-in ballots to the polls on Election Day because they don't trust the mail and they don't trust the drop boxes. We're only down by a few thousand votes right now. When those votes come in, I think we're going to see a lot of liberal minds kind of blowing up."
Abe Hamadeh, the Republican candidate for Arizona Attorney General tweeted, "Arizona DESERVES results on Election Day. This is an embarrassment. Maricopa County needs accountability."
Tyler Bowyer from the Republican National Committee and Turning Point Action tweeted, "Maricopa County is so embarrassing. Picking and choosing ballots to drop after Kari’s Tucker hit is pure political theater and delaying the inevitable— they’re a joke at this point and don’t deserve the public’s trust."
The campaigns for Lake, Masters, and the Republican National Committee have sued Maricopa County over the issues with the voting tabulation machines.
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