Arizona: Maricopa County precincts with voting problems were not overwhelmingly Republican


PHOENIX – Election Day polling stations in Maricopa County, home to more than half of Arizona’s voters, aren’t leaning heavily Republican, according to The Washington Post review.

The findings undermine the claims of others Republicans – especially Kari Lake, the GOP candidate for governor, and former president Donald Trump – that GOP districts in the state have been disproportionately affected by the crisis, which is related to the problem of publishers. Republicans, however, argue that their voters may be affected, given their practice of voting on Election Day rather than sending in their ballots.

The reports come as Lake continues to trail his opponent, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, and as the number of votes remaining to be counted dwindles.

As of Tuesday morning, printers at 70 of the county’s 223 precincts produced ballots with ink too light to be read by the vote-counting machines, causing votes to be rejected. That forced voters to stand in line, go to another location or put their ballots in secure boxes that were delivered to downtown Phoenix and counted there. County officials say no one is denied the right to vote.

The Post identified affected polling locations using data provided by election officials in Maricopa County and then analyzed voter registration breakdowns for each location using data from L2, a provider of election data.

The survey found that the share of registered Republicans in affected areas, about 37 percent, is about the same as the share of registered Republicans statewide, which is 35 percent.

Throughout the week, prominent Republicans have suggested without evidence that the printer problem only affects Republican precincts.

Lake, speaking to reporters after voting with his family in the downtown area, said, “There’s a reason why we’ve decided to change places – we’re going to a good Republican place.” Instead, he said, “We went deep into the heart of liberal Phoenix to pick because we wanted to make sure we had good machines.”

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“And what do you think?” he added. “They have no problems with their machines today. There is not a single voting machine here today. Not at all, in a very liberal environment. So we were right to come and vote in a very free place. ”

In fact, there have been problems in areas that threaten democracy the most, according to The Post’s analysis.

They included two elementary schools in east Phoenix and a health center in south Phoenix all precincts where Democrats outnumbered Republicans by about 40 percent. In Mountain Park Health Center south of Phoenix, which was among the most problematic areas for publishers, there were nearly twice as many votes. three more for Lake’s Democratic challenger, Hobbs, than for the Republican candidate, according to results released by the county.

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

Lake’s claims were reinforced throughout the week by Trump, who posted on Truth Social, a website founded by the former president. and his allies, that “Even Kari Lake was taken to a Liberal Democrat constituency to vote.”

The former president used the statement to press the baseless claim that Maricopa County officials “stole” the vote from Blake Masters, the GOP candidate for Senate. Masters on Friday was expected to lose his race to incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly.

“So in Maricopa County they are here again. But only in Republican counties,” wrote Trump, who has made the county the target of his 2020 election fraud allegations.

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He concluded, “Do the Elections again!”

Masters expressed a similar need when he appeared Friday on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show, before his race was called by the Associated Press. “I think the most honest thing at this point would be for Maricopa County to wipe the slate clean, take all the votes and do a recount,” he said.

Masters said the county “rigged” the election twice but had no basis for that claim. A spokesman for the campaign did not respond to a request for evidence based on his allegations.

A spokesperson for the district’s election department said that election workers at the two locations had mixed up the two ballots, but “This has happened in the past, and we have evidence that helps us confirm that the other vote and the legal one is counted only once.” The audits, which include checking total votes versus entering polling places, are done “in the presence of political party observers,” said spokeswoman Megan Gilbertson.

To a a statement posted Saturday on Twitter, Masters didn’t press charges of fraud but said he won’t believe it until all the votes are counted.

Maricopa County officials have stressed in recent days that the errors did not cause ballots to be miscounted or prevent anyone from voting. They say they are working up to 18 hours a day to process the number of ballots cast on Election Day – and have said for weeks that counting could take up to 12 days.

“I will stand up for my country,” Bill Gates, the Republican chairman of the county board of supervisors, told reporters on Friday afternoon. “We’re doing things the right way.”

The leaders of the Arizona Republican Party assert that their voters are disproportionately affected by the problems due to their tendency to vote on Election Day. “It was no secret that Republicans were determined to vote on Election Day,” the state party said in a statement issued Sunday.

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But The Post’s analysis found that the share of voters voting Republican Election Day in areas with print problems was about the same as the statewide share, supporting the district’s argument that people in affected areas those who want to vote on Tuesday are not prevented from doing so. .

Party attorneys asked a judge Tuesday night to ask county officials to extend voting time by three hours, citing mechanical problems. But about five minutes before the polls closed, the judge denied the request, finding that the Republicans could not show that any candidate was disqualified from voting.

In Maricopa, voters can vote at any polling station, regardless of where they live. It is different from other systems that require people to vote in designated areas around or inside their places.

Voters who live in the city and commute into the city of Phoenix for work, for example, can cast their ballots near their home, downtown or at schools, churches or any of the 223 precincts. elections established across the vast district.

Typically, people tend to vote in places that are close to their homes or in places that are part of their daily routine, said political scientist Michael McDonald of the University of Florida.

“Voting centers are easy to find, they’re part of your day, they’re probably on your way for all your activities,” he said.

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


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