Arizona: Maricopa County district with voting problems isn’t overwhelmingly Republican


PHOENIX — The polling place in question on Election Day in Maricopa County, where more than half of Arizona’s voters live, isn’t overwhelmingly Republican, according to one investigator. The Washington Post analysis.

This finding undercuts claims by some Republicans — most notably GOP gubernatorial nominee Carrie Lake and former President Donald Trump — Republican areas of the county have been disproportionately affected by the problems, which have involved printer accidents. Still, Republicans believe their voters are more likely to be affected because they tend to vote on Election Day rather than mail-in ballots.

The claim comes as Lake continues to narrowly trail her rival, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, and the number of remaining ballots to be counted dwindles.

Since early Tuesday, printers at 70 of the county’s 223 polling places have printed ballots with ink too pale for counting machines to read, resulting in ballots being rejected. That forced voters to wait in line, travel to another location or deposit their ballots in secure boxes, which were moved to downtown Phoenix where they were counted. No one was disenfranchised from voting, county officials said.

The Post used data provided by Maricopa County election officials to identify the precincts for the affected polling places, then used data from election data provider L2 to examine voter registration breakdowns within each precinct.

The analysis found that the percentage of registered Republicans in affected districts was about 37 percent, nearly the same as the countywide percentage of registered Republicans at 35 percent.

Throughout the week, prominent Republicans have suggested, without evidence, that the printer’s problems only affect Republican districts.

“There’s a reason we decided to change the location — we’re going to a beautiful Republican district,” Lake told reporters after voting with his family at a downtown location. Instead, she said, “we’re coming straight to the liberal The center of Phoenix voted because we wanted to make sure we had good machines.”

“Guess what?” she added. “They had zero machine problems today. Not a single machine here today spit out ballots. No, in a very free district. So we’re right to come and vote in a very free district.”

In fact, according to the Post’s analysis, there are problems in districts that lean heavily toward Democrats.

They include two elementary schools in east Phoenix and a health center in south Phoenix Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 40 percentage points everywhere. Lake’s Democratic opponent, Hobbs, received nearly three times as many votes as the Republican candidate, according to results released by the Mountain Park Health Center south of Phoenix, one of the areas where the printer had problems. county.

A spokesman for Lake’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Over the weekend, Trump wrote on Truth Social, the social media site set up by the former president, that Lake’s claims were amplified and his allies, “even Carilek was brought to the Lib Dem constituency for the vote.”

The former president used the assertion to advance the baseless claim that Maricopa County officials “stealed” the election of Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters. Friday’s Masters is expected to be lost to incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly.

“So in Maricopa County, they’re at it again. … But only in Republican districts,” wrote Trump, who has targeted the county in his 2020 false allegations of election fraud.

He concluded: “Re-election!”

Masters hinted at a similar request Friday on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show, before the Associated Press announced his match. “I think the most honest course of action right now is for Maricopa County to clean up and take all the ballots and recount them,” he said.

Masters claimed the county “mixed up” ballots twice, but offered no basis for that claim. A campaign spokesman did not respond to a request for evidence on which to base his claim.

A spokeswoman for the county’s elections department said poll workers at two locations combined the two batches of ballots, but “this has happened in the past and we have redundant mechanisms in place to help us ensure that each legitimate ballot is counted only once.” ” Spokeswoman Megan Gilbertson added that the layoffs, which included checking total ballots and signing in at polling places, were made “in the presence of party observers.”

second statement Masters tweeted Saturday that he had not filed fraud charges, but said he would not back down until all the ballots had been counted.

Maricopa County officials have stressed in recent days that the glitches have not caused any ballots to be misread or prevented anyone from voting. They say they are working up to 18 hours a day to process the record number of ballots cast on Election Day — and they have said for weeks that tabulation could take as many as 12 days.

“I’m going to stand up for my state,” Bill Gates, The chairman of the Republican County Board of Supervisors told reporters Friday afternoon. “We’re doing things the right way.”

Arizona GOP leaders insist their constituents are disproportionately affected by the glitches because of their preference to vote on Election Day. “It’s no secret that Republicans intend to vote on Election Day,” the state party said in a statement released Sunday.

But the Post’s analysis found that the proportion of Republican Election Day voters in printer-problem precincts was nearly the same as the countywide precinct, supporting the county’s contention that people in affected districts who wanted to vote Tuesday were not prevented from doing so. .

Lawyers for the party asked the judge Tuesday night to ask county officials to extend voting by three hours, citing mechanical issues. But about five minutes before the close of voting, the judge rejected the request, arguing that Republicans could not prove that any voters were disenfranchised.

In Maricopa, voters can vote at any voting center, no matter where they live.It differs from some systems that require people to vote near or within a designated location their neighborhood.

For example, voters who live in the suburbs and drive to downtown Phoenix for work can vote near their home, downtown or at a school, church or at any of the 223 polling places located throughout the county.

Traditionally, people tend to vote closer to home or where they go in their daily lives, said Michael McDonald, a political scientist at the University of Florida.

“Voting centers are conveniently located, they’re part of your day, they’re probably on the route of all your errands,” he said.

Bronner reported from Washington. Jon Swaine and Reis Thebault in Washington contributed to this report.

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