Widespread malfunctions among voting machines in Arizona’s most populous county have quickly fueled renewed concerns about voter fraud in the crucial swing state.
According to Fox News, approximately 25 percent of all voting machines in Maricopa County reported issues with regards to the printing of the ballots; allegedly, the machines in question were not producing dark enough ink for the ballots to be properly read by the scanning machines, thus refusing to count certain ballots. Voters were forced to wait in line at polling stations for hours on end as the faulty machines had to either be fixed or replaced.
The issues affected 60 of the 223 total vote centers located across Maricopa, the county which includes Phoenix and thus has the largest share of the population in the state of Arizona. Republican candidates such as gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, as well as conservative commentators such as Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, quickly called out these sudden and widespread “errors” as indicative of possible voter fraud, similar to previous discrepancies in the 2020 election.
Election officials in Maricopa County, meanwhile, denied that there was any wrongdoing. County Supervisor Bill Gates, a Republican, claimed that “there’s nothing that happened here today that would indicate a need to be out here, a need to address some injustice. We had an issue with printers that has been addressed by the good people of Maricopa County.”
Nevertheless, problems in Maricopa could very well impact the results of the election, with approximately 2.4 million registered voters living in Phoenix; about 80 percent of these voters cast their ballots early, while roughly 230,000 had voted in-person. As the issues affected only in-person voters, the problems overwhelmingly handicapped Republicans, as Republican voters tend to vote in-person on Election Day, while Democratic voters prefer to vote early and by mail.
Concerns had previously been raised with regards to the candidacy of Katie Hobbs (D-Ariz.), the Democratic nominee for Governor, who is also the incumbent Secretary of State. Despite widespread calls for her to recuse herself of her election-administration duties, including from Democrats, Hobbs refused to do so despite the clear conflict of interests. Hobbs is currently locked in a tight race with Republican nominee Kari Lake; a similarly close race is unfolding in the U.S. Senate election, with incumbent Senator Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) facing off against Republican challenger Blake Masters (R-Ariz.).