Maricopa County, Arizona officials issued a report ahead of the scheduled certification of November election results that blames prominent Republicans for sowing doubt about a safe alternative for voters amid problems with malfunctioning vote tabulating machines in the largest county in the Been on Election Day.
The report, issued Sunday, comes a week after the state’s Republican attorney general’s office demanded answers from the county about widespread voting machine failures, which some Republican politicians and pundits were quick to exploit by presenting misleading or false information. . The county is ready to certify its results on Monday.
In its report, the county said a “root cause analysis” of the printer problems that prevented some vote tabulators from accepting ballots on Election Day is still underway, but noted that all printers used on Election Day elections “had up-to-date firmware, installed with consistent settings, and used the same settings that were used in previous elections.”
The report noted that voters were instructed to place their ballots in a secure ballot box, dubbed the “Gate 3” option, if the tabulators couldn’t read them, a “decades-long practice” in the county. But despite being a “legal, secure and reliable” voting option, “many high-profile and influential people have ordered voters not to deposit their ballots at Gate 3.”
“Consequently, some voters declined to use this viable voting option,” the report said.
in a letter accompanying the reportTom Liddy, a Republican and Maricopa County civil division chief, said eight other counties rely on secure ballot boxes in elections because “they don’t have any tabulators at their polling places,” and their ballots are brought to a centralized location. location to be tabulated in each election.
“It cannot be the case that the limited use of the Gate 3 ballot box for some voters in Maricopa County violates the Constitution, while the mandatory use of one ballot box per voter in more than half the counties in the state it doesn’t,” Liddy wrote. in response to the attorney general’s office.
Election officials at the time of the malfunction urged voters at polling places where the machines had failed to exercise other options, including leaving their ballots in a secure box to be counted later in the day or going to another location to vote. .
Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for governor of Arizona backed by former President Donald Trump, and state GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward were among several prominent Twitter users who cast doubt on the platform about the election process following reports of failures. Lake, who ultimately lost to Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, attacked Maricopa County officials over both Election Day technical problems and the lengthy vote count.
Maricopa County last week confirmed that Bill Gates, chairman of the county’s board of supervisors, was moved to an undisclosed location for his safety following social media threats related to the midterm elections. County Sheriff Paul Penzone told reporters at a news conference that he had recommended Gates and his family go to a safe place for one night because of the threats that were still under investigation.
Penzone, a Democrat, called on political leaders to be more responsible.
“There are a lot of candidates saying things that they shouldn’t,” including “people who politically may not have seen the results they hoped for,” he said. “Have some courage and speak up and say that these kinds of threats are Not OK against our opponents any more than they would be against us.