mark kelly
Potential Voter Disenfranchisement Remedy Denied After Senator Mark Kelly Intervenes

November 9, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

A court ruled against a request to extend Maricopa County polling hours despite mass voting machine failures, after Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) petitioned to reject the request. Kelly is in a highly contested race against one of the GOP candidates that filed suit, Republican challenger Blake Masters.

Two Republican candidates, Masters and Kari Lake, filed an emergency request on Tuesday afternoon to extend the polling hours to 10 pm, after the mass failure of tabulation machines across the county for over eight hours. This extensive failure resulted in issues such as voters spoiling ballots, leaving without voting, or unwillingly casting a provisional ballot. 

One of the lawyers that filed the case, Harmeet Dhillon remarked that Kelly’s intervention was hypocrisy given his public commitments to thwarting voter disenfranchisement. 

“Goes to show you that Democrats’ platitudes about voting rights are often situational, at best,” said Dhillon.

A lawyer for the Arizona GOP, Alex Kolodin, called the court’s rejection “unfortunate” in an interview with “The Conservative Circus.” Kolodin shared that frustrated voters left polls, or were forced to cast a provisional ballot after they checked in at a malfunctioning vote center. The law doesn’t allow for voters to cast a ballot at another polling location after they’ve checked in at one location.

“The campaigns tried to explain to the judge that this was a very unique situation with this widespread issue where voters really were deprived of the right to vote and that made it a unique circumstance that warranted keeping the polls open a couple extra hours,” said Kolodin.

Kolodin said that at least 33 to 40 percent of vote centers were affected by tabulation machine failures. Kolodin stated that the timing marks on the ballots likely weren’t printed properly, which meant the tabulators couldn’t read them.

Kolodin added that printers have been a major issue for Maricopa County since the 2020 election, and were at the root of the SharpieGate controversy.

“It’s funny, the county has known about ballot printing issues for two years,” said Kolodin.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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