Maricopa County Election Official Rushed To Undisclosed Location On Election Day

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

Arizona keeps making the news, and not in a good way. The midterm election in the state has been fraught with machinery malfunction, slow vote counting, and frustration by would-be voters who were turned away at the polls.

As of Tuesday, two weeks since Election Day, Arizona had yet to complete the counting of votes. According to Politico, 99 percent of the vote was in.

While states like Arizona, Nevada, and California were still counting votes days after the election, others, like Florida, and most other states, counted all of their votes on election night, WFTX-TV reported. Before there was computerized voting, ballots were counted across the country the night of elections, rendering results no later than the following morning.

The ridiculously extended counting time has scrutiny focused on Arizona, especially given the close race for governor and the sudden turning of the previously red state to blue.

But long counting times are far from the only controversy plaguing Arizona’s handling of the 2022 midterms. The voting day itself was full of setbacks and seemed to be targeted at Republicans and Republican voters.

During the voting process on Election Day, residents were being turned away from voting locations, while others had to wait in incredibly long lines, with wait times reportedly reaching several hours in some cases. The Western Journal received over 20 exclusive videos featuring Arizona voters explaining the many difficulties they encountered while trying to vote.

This was because, according to election officials, 20 percent of voting locations across the entire county had malfunctioning vote tabulators.

According to multiple sources, those officials undersold the extent of the problem. In subsequent reporting, both The Washington Post and KNTX-TV were told that 70 locations, over 30 percent, suffered issues with tabulators. Rasmussen Reports later said even that reporting was an underestimate, claiming the actual number of voting locations with faulty machines on Election Day was 48 percent.

Many believe that the long lines caused by malfunctioning machines disproportionately discouraged same-day voters, who were expected to lean heavily Republican.

The Western Journal’s Randy DeSoto estimated that, if 250 people were dissuaded from voting at each of the 70 polling stations with malfunctioning equipment, that would have been enough to make up the difference between Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and her Democratic opponent Katie Hobbs.

Rasmussen Reports later said even that reporting was an underestimate, claiming the actual number of voting locations with faulty machines on Election Day was 48 percent.

On the same day, one election official found himself removed from the chaotic situations and was unable to help manage the voting.

Elected Official Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, disappeared. We now know why. According to a Tuesday report from CNN, a week after the instance, Gates was moved to an “undisclosed location” after threats were made against his well-being.

Under the local sheriff’s office’s protection, Gates spent the night of Nov. 8 at the location as Maricopa County continued to find itself ensconced in controversy over its voting issues. Western Journal reports.

So, one of the leadership in charge of elections was removed while the massive problems with voting occurred. Gates, a Republican, had been outspoken about voter fraud in the 202 presidential election. “Everyone is still getting to vote. No one has been disenfranchised,” he told reporters in Phoenix on Election Day before he was whisked away.

Being moved rather than having additional security arranged on the very day that all hands need to be on deck is questionable now that a spokesperson told CNN that Gates since received that increase in personal security as he continues to perform his duties as chairman.

And the problems continue in Arizona, as the count that is finally in is being contested by those who question the chaos of the voting.

Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake is citing foul play, and is not conceding. According to Politico, Katie Hobbs currently has roughly 17,000 more votes than Lake, with 99 percent of all precincts reporting.

Lake’s team announced via Twitter Wednesday that her campaign would be contesting the results.

“Imagine if the tabulators had worked in primarily red districts! Again, this election was irreparably compromised by voter disenfranchisement, ” the campaign’s tweet read.

“We don’t care if this is unprecedented. The appropriate thing to do would be to let Maricopa County cast their votes again.”

Lake’s representatives posed a series of questions about voting problems on Election Day, and the Washington Post reported that a video of calls made by Lake’s attorney to Maricopa county lawyers surfaced a week later, proving that her campaign was addressing voting issues and county officials were hostile to the call.

In a post on his Truth Social account, former President Donald Trump wrote that Arizona had “another big voter tabulation problem” and that Maricopa County was a “complete Voter Integrity DISASTER.”

NBC noted that Maricopa is the fourth-largest county in the country and is widely considered to be the key to Arizona elections.

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