Arizona’s voting machines are supposed to be top-notch and world-class technical beasts that help determine one of America’s finest and most legendary achievements- the right to vote for our own representation. But that is not what happened on Tuesday night, as elections became a chaotic mess with problematic vote tabulation machines.
The AZ secretary of state’s website shows that voting equipment certification is to be investigated, examined and updated prior to each election.
“All components of a voting system are certified according to state and federal law prior to use in any election for a federal, state, or county office. A.R.S. § 16-422(B).
State certification includes a review of system documentation and/or conducting a demonstration and functionality test. Upgrades or modifications to an existing voting system require recertification, but if the upgrade or modification is de minimis, a demonstration and functionality test is optional and not always required. A request for emergency conditional certification is subject to different standards.
Prior to every statewide election, each county provides the list of equipment in use for that election. The equipment certification committee reviews applications according to state statute.”
So how did things go so wrong in that state and what are voters supposed to do now that the machines broke down? Independet media is talking about just that.
“The fake news, tech giants, Democrats and our elites want us to believe that a solid red state switched to the Democrat Party in 2020 and then after 2 years of complete disaster and a wide open border, Democrats came back to sweep the state for the first time ever?” Jim Hoft reported for Gateway Pundit, adding:
“Because Arizonans LOVE open borders and fentanyl! God save us from this wickedness. Kari Lake delivered another amazing speech on Tuesday night.”
“We will take the victory when it comes. And we will turn this state around!”
Watch @KariLake‘s full speech at the election night party!
"We will take the victory when it comes. And we will turn this state around!"
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) November 9, 2022
“It’s not over yet,” Hoft wrote linking to a poll.
Voter mistrust of Maricopa County Arizona election officials and their Box 3 alternative is demonstrated at the video below here. 2 hours to scan a voter ballot. A total joke.
— Rasmussen Reports (@Rasmussen_Poll) November 9, 2022
NBC reported that Maricopa County emerged as a flashpoint in the midterm elections after a state judge declined a last-minute effort to extend voting hours following widespread issues that led officials to use secure ballot boxes.
“Technicians were dispatched to polling sites across Arizona’s largest county on Election Day to fix dozens of malfunctioning vote tabulation machines, a widespread issue that frustrated voters and led some GOP politicians and pundits to spread misleading or false information.
Election officials stressed that the machines were not inaccurately reading ballots, but rather, not accepting them at all.”
Arizona ballots still being counted for Senate and governor races as of late Wednesday morning.
While Maricopa County election officials initially categorized the problem as a “hiccup,” it took hours before a solution was identified early Tuesday afternoon. The fallout over the course of the day forced officials to scramble on messaging and push back on claims that sought to question the integrity of the election.
“Everyone is still getting to vote. No one has been disenfranchised,” Bill Gates, chairman of the Maricopa County board of supervisors and a Republican, told reporters in downtown Phoenix following reports of equipment problems Tuesday morning.
“When we test these machines, that’s part of the process. We go through it for every election,” he added. “And in this particular instance, this is something we didn’t anticipate.”
About 60 of the county’s 223 voting locations reported related problems. Gates said technicians were “doing what they can to get these back online.”
The Republican National Committee filed an emergency request to extend voting hours just ahead of the closing of state polls at 9 p.m. ET. Judge Timothy Ryan, who was appointed by Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano in 2005, denied the request, saying that GOP failed to show that anyone was actually prevented from voting.
Ryan said “there might have been some confusion” but there was not any evidence that anyone was “precluded the right to vote.” He added that even if there were such evidence that he would have “no way to communicate” with the polling places given the late time, with polls just about to close.
Matthew Sanderson, co-leader of the political law group at the law firm Caplin & Drysdale, said in an email that these are common problems.
“Some tabulator machines in Maricopa County, Arizona, have malfunctioned, and some commentators on the right have tried to paint that as part of a sinister plot,” Sanderson, a Republican and an NBC News and MSNBC election law analyst, wrote. “The reality, though, is that equipment malfunctions have always been a part of Election Day, and Maricopa election officials have had contingency plans in place to make sure that voters can cast their ballots without interruption.”
Sanderson said the the judge’s decision “was in line with past decisions by Arizona courts, which have historically been hesitant to extend polling place hours.”
“The judge seemed to focus in this case on the Republicans’ delay in filing the complaint until late on Election Day and on voters’ ability to cast ballots that would be counted through alternative means,” he added.
Maricopa, the fourth-largest county in the country and home to Phoenix and Tempe, is widely considered the key to Arizona elections. Most of the state’s ballots are cast there and the results typically match the outcome statewide.
In 2020, Joe Biden won Maricopa County by about 6,000 of the more than 2 million votes cast there. Statewide, he won by less than 12,000 votes out of more than 3.3 million cast.
The dynamics have been similar in midterm elections. When Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema won her seat in 2018, she did so with 50% of the statewide vote, including the 51% she took in Maricopa County. About 2.4 million people voted in that race statewide, with 1.4 million of the ballots cast in Maricopa.
Election officials urged voters at polling sites where machines had malfunctioned to exercise other options, including either dropping their ballots in a secure box to be counted later in the day or going to another location to vote.