By Corinne Murdock |
The company behind the ballot printer model behind the mass voting machine failures last November, OKI, says that Maricopa County’s oversight is to blame, not their machines.
In a statement issued last month, OKI refuted Maricopa County’s findings in its April report commissioned by the county attorney’s office, which claimed that their printers weren’t capable of printing 20-inch ballots on 100-pound paper under Election Day conditions. OKI said that the manual accompanying the problematic printer clearly outlined how the two different printer trays handled two different paper weights. The multipurpose tray could support paper weights of up to 110 pounds; however, the paper cassettes could only support up to 80 pounds.
OKI also noted that the manual specified how a 100-pound cover was “well out of spec” for both the multipurpose tray and cassettes. OKI noted that any consultation with their company would’ve also made those facts clear to the county. However, the county didn’t consult with them; the attorney’s office didn’t reach out during their investigatory report either.
“Without clarification in the testing process that defines the exact paper type and the printing source (multipurpose tray or cassette), the conclusion is disingenuous given the fact that the use of 100 lb. paper can be out of specification for the B432 printers, as can be discerned readily from the printers’ manual,” stated OKI. “As a result, it seems that the true underlying cause of the election issues was the use of 100 lb. paper without reviewing the manual and/or confirming with OKI that such use was within the specifications of the OKI B432 printers. Had the County consulted OKI prior to such use, the design specifications would have been discussed and alternatives could have been explored.” (emphasis added)
OKI said that it is awaiting a corrected report from Maricopa County.
OKI also refuted two other major assertions made by the report: that the fuser inadequacy of the printers weren’t easily remedied because the fuser can’t be easily replaced, and that the company cannot offer parts and consumables for the printers because it withdrew from North American markets.
In a point-by-point rebuttal, OKI said that the printer fusers were easy to replace and could be done so on-site by technicians. They also clarified their legal obligation to support printers currently in the field with consumables and spare parts for a five-year minimum ending in 2028.
As AZ Free News reported last year, the printer model provided by OKI was one of two ballot-on-demand (BOD) printer types. The OKI model used by Maricopa County was retrofitted in 2020 to be a BOD printer for last year’s election.
The county increased the ballot size from 19 to 20 inches to accommodate for several candidates and propositions that weren’t finalized until late last August.