Once again, Maricopa County, Ariz., has become ground zero for why a growing number of Americans no longer trust our election system.
On Election Day earlier this month, there were scores of issues and problems at polling stations all over the county, including insanely long lines where voters had to wait hours to cast their ballot; non-functional ballot printers that were “out of ink”; and ballot machines that failed to properly accept and tally ballots that were being fed.
In the interim, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs — whose office is in charge of state and federal elections and who obviously botched the job — has been declared the winner of her gubernatorial race against Trump-backed Republican candidate Kari Lake, though she has yet to concede the race and has vowed not to give up fighting for answers as to why there were so many problems, especially in traditionally Republican areas of the county and Phoenix.
But state Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office is now demanding answers from Maricopa County election officials and from Hobbs’ office and has even suggested that multiple state laws were violated.
On Saturday, Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Wright wrote to one of the county’s top election officials detailing reports of a string of irregularities from printer problems that stopped ballots being tabulated, to confusion about procedures for transferring voters to alternate sites if they were unable to vote at the first location.
Lake’s claims of fraud have consistently been characterized by opponents as unfounded, and her supporters have yet to produce a smoking gun.
That said, the state AG’s office has fielded hundreds of complaints, so obviously, there were problems on Election Day.
“These complaints go beyond pure speculation, but include first-hand witness accounts that raise concerns regarding Maricopa’s lawful compliance with Arizona election law,” Wright noted in her letter.
She went on to say that she needs answers to many questions before the election results in key counties can be certified.
“Arizonans deserve a full report and accounting of the myriad problems that occurred in relation to Maricopa County’s administration of the 2022 General Election,” her letter to Thomas Liddy, civil division chief at the Maricopa County’s Attorney’s Office, added.
“As the canvass is looming, and these issues relate to Maricopa County’s ability to lawfully certify election results – the Unit requests a response to the aforementioned issues on or before Maricopa County submits its official canvass to the Secretary of State, which must occur on or before November 28, 2022,” she wrote.
For her part, Lake blasted the shoddy, problematic voting processes in the county.
“The way they run elections in Maricopa County is worse than in banana republics around this world,” Lake said this week, according to the Daily Mail. “And I’ll tell you what, I believe at the end of the day that this will be turned around and I don’t know what the solution will be but I still believe I will become governor, and we are going to restore honesty to our elections.”
In a video to voters, she also blasted the system and told Arizonans she was continuing to fight on their behalf.
Lake also detailed the most common problems that are being reported: “Printer problems, tabulation errors, 3-hour lines or longer, and confusing instructions given by election officials made this election day the most chaotic in Arizona’s history.”
She also said that half of the voting centers were “not operational or had significant failures.”
“Would you get on a plane if HALF of the engines didn’t work? Would our friends in the media be able to broadcast their nightly propaganda if HALF of their studio equipment was not working?”
She explained, “Attorneys are working diligently to gather information, whistleblowers are coming forward and the curtain is being lifted. Whether done accidentally or intentionally it is clear that this election was a debacle that destroyed any trust in our elections. Arizonans who chose to make their voice heard on election day shouldn’t be disenfranchised or punished for choosing to vote in-person. Yet they were.”
My message to the People of Arizona & the United States: pic.twitter.com/mtNBl7728S
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) November 21, 2022
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