By Corinne Murdock |
Maricopa County’s vote tabulators were intermittently malfunctioning on Election Day, prompting voter concern that ballots won’t be counted properly or at all.
The problem lasted well into the afternoon, around 8 hours, until the county said it believed it had found the cause of these mass failure: faulty printer settings. The county said it did test-run the machines ahead of the election. They assured voters that they would send technicians to the vote centers to fix the printer settings.
As of noon on Election Day, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates reported to KTAR that 60 vote centers were hit with tabulator and printer problems out of the 223 centers across the county. Each vote center has two tabulators.
The elections department advised voters to cast their ballots into a slot on the machine below the tabulator, where it would be stored until it could be counted manually at a later time.
We collected some testimonies of voters who say they experienced these malfunctioning tabulators. This is not an all-inclusive list, and results are quickly changing:
7:30 am – long lines caused by tabulators malfunctioning.
8 am – Anthem Outlets tabulators malfunctioning.
7:30 am – Cave Creek Town Hall tabulators were reportedly rejecting ballots.
8:30 am – Black Mountain Baptist Church and Cave Creek Town Hall locations were turning away voters.
9 am – Laestadian Lutheran Church reported that they had no equipment issues.
9:30 am – Poll workers informed voters that the tabulator issue had to do with how ballots are printed, and that only 1 in 5 ballots were accepted earlier in the day.
8 am – Valor Christian Center voter said one machine wouldn’t accept ballots.
9:30 am – Trilogy Power Ranch experienced no problems.
8 am – Compass Church voter reported that her location had printing issues, prompting her to leave without her ballot scanned.
9 am – Love of Christ Lutheran Church voter and Turning Point Action activist reported that only 1 in 15 ballots were read by the tabulators. One woman reportedly waited two hours until her ballot was read properly, while the husband had to spoil his ballot after seven failed attempts.
10:15 am – Mesa Court House reported no issues, per our sources.
2 pm – Journey Church voters reported their machines down.
2 pm – Arrowhead Country Club voters reported their machines down.
6 am – Burton Barr Library became a ballot drop off site due to tabulation machine issues. An hour later, their check-in stations became operational.
9:30 am – Unspecified location, voter had to run ballot through tabulator five times before it was read.
10:40 am – North Scottsdale United Methodist Church machines down, some left without votes counted while there.
8 am – Asante Library voter reported their machines rejecting 90 percent of ballots.
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer reported at 7:30 am Tuesday morning that over 23,000 people voted in person.
Voters casting ballots at polling places experiencing tabulator issues have three options: stay to wait out the tabulators, drop their ballot in the tabulator slot for manual processing, or go to a nearby vote center.
Secretary of State and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs reassured voters that ballots deposited in drop boxes would be tabulated manually.
At around 2 pm, Richer issued an apology for the mass failure of tabulator machines.
Ahead of Election Day, the Department of Justice (DOJ) deployed its Civil Rights Division forces to monitor polling places in Maricopa, Navajo, Pima, Pinal, and Yavapai counties on Tuesday to ensure no voting rights were violated.
Arizona wasn’t the only state to experience issues with voting machines. Voters in Texas, such as Bell County, reported that the machines wouldn’t allow people to vote at all.
Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to email@example.com.