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Maricopa County Election Officials Respond to Ariz. AG Regarding Ballot Certification

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Election officials in Maricopa County have responded to a request for information from the state Attorney General’s office regarding issues surrounding the Nov. 8 election. After pushing back on Republican-led claims that voting problems at dozens of polling stations on Election Day disenfranchised perhaps thousands of voters, Maricopa County officials informed the AG’s office they nevertheless plan to certify the results.

Division Chief, Civil Services Division Thomas Liddy addressed Assistant AG Jennifer Wright in a letter on Sunday, claiming that the county did everything right and that there were no violations of rules or laws.

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“Our response is available for the public to read in its entirety and details how Maricopa County followed state and federal laws to ensure every voter was provided the opportunity to cast a ballot,” Board of Supervisors Chair Bill Gates, a Republican, wrote in a statement.

Gates said he plans to canvass Maricopa County’s election results as the law requires, to be done Monday. Also, a news conference has been called as well.

“Accountability promotes responsibility,” Arizona GOP Attorney General-nominee Abe Hamadeh tweeted Saturday amid a recount in his own election, which he trailed by around 500 votes. “Elections that are mismanaged or perceived as unfair will only sow the seeds of doubt to the system that holds this country together.”

The county’s own report noted that malfunctions happened at least 43 and up to as many as 63 of the county’s 223 vote centers.

“Maricopa County experienced unanticipated printing problems in 31% of its vote centers,” Liddy wrote to Wright. “These problems caused some ballots to be printed in a way that prevented some of the precinct based tabulators from reading them, although all the ballots were easily readable by the human eye.

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“When compared to the total number of voters who participated in the 2022 General Election, fewer than 1% of ballots cast were affected by these printer issues. But importantly, every lawful voter was still able to cast his or her ballot,” Liddy continued.

“No voter was disenfranchised because of the difficulty the county experienced with some of its printers. Every voter was provided a ballot by which he or she could record their votes, and all such ballots cast by lawful voters were tabulated, whether in the vote center or at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center,” Liddy added.

“The printing issues, leading to precinct-based tabulators being unable to tabulate some of the votes cast, was regrettable. But it did not violate the uniformity statutes, and any suggestion that it did is unfounded.”

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For her part, Trump-backed Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, who trails Democratic opponent and Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs by around 17,000 votes, has filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County officials demanding information and answers.

The lawsuit states:

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Plaintiff desires that every lawful vote be properly counted and every voter who was eligible to vote be allowed to vote. Unfortunately, due to Defendants’ failures, many eligible voters may not have been able to vote. Because Defendants were unable or unwilling to conduct a reconciliation of voter check ins against ballots cast of each polling center on election night in accordance with Arizona law and have now unlawfully refused to produce public records in response to two public records requests regarding how they administered the election, Plaintiff cannot determine that every lawful vote will be properly counted. The records Plaintiff requested in response to the numerous issues with Defendants’administration of the election are consistent with a parallel demand by the Arizona Attorney General for answers to questions about the Defendants’ actions.

The suit names Stephen Richer, who is the Maricopa County recorder, and other officials and was filed in Arizona Superior Court. The suit seeks prompt release of certain information regarding how the elections were administered, “which featured widespread issues in the state’s largest county,” The Epoch Times reported.

“Given instances of misprinted ballots, the commingling of counted and uncounted ballots, and long lines discouraging people from voting, as demonstrated in the attached declarations, these records are necessary for Plaintiff to determine the full extent of the problems identified and their impacts on electors,” the 19-page lawsuit says.

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