© Reuters. Voters arrive to solid their ballots within the midterm elections in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., November 8, 2022. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
By Tim Reid
PHOENIX (Reuters) – Issues with dozens of digital vote counting machines within the battleground state of Arizona on Tuesday had been seized upon by former Republican President Donald Trump and his followers, who falsely claimed it was proof of election fraud by Democrats.
Just some hours into Election Day, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer advised reporters that about 20% of digital vote tabulation machines within the state’s most populous county had been malfunctioning, and technicians had been being deployed to repair them.
The issue was that ballots weren’t lining up correctly contained in the machines and weren’t being learn, Richer stated, including that regardless of the issues all votes can be counted.
Richer referred to as the malfunctions “disappointing” and appropriately predicted that election deniers and conspiracists corresponding to Trump would “exploit” the difficulty.
The state’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who has echoed Trump’s false claims of a stolen 2020 election, additionally seized on the machine issues, issuing a “voter alert” on her Twitter account.
Lake later advised reporters that she had encountered no points when she voted in what she described as a left-leaning space of town.
“We had been proper to return to vote in a liberal space,” she stated. “They have to repair this downside.”
Trump, Lake and different election deniers have been calling for the tip of digital voting machines, Election Day-only voting, and using simply paper ballots and hand counts, a course of that’s time-consuming, expensive and much much less correct than machine counting.
Biden narrowly gained Arizona in 2020 by simply 12,000 votes. The state has been central within the false claims by Trump and his followers that the presidential election two years in the past was rigged in opposition to him. All of Arizona’s most important Republican candidates this yr are election deniers, together with Lake.
The machine malfunctions fueled mistrust amongst many Republican voters in Arizona that fraud was concerned, particularly after Trump issued a press release on his Reality Social platform.
“Stories are coming in from Arizona that the Voting Machines are usually not correctly working in predominately Republican/Conservative areas,” Trump stated, including: “Right here we go once more? The individuals is not going to stand for it!!”
Barbara Russell, 70, a volunteer Republican ballot observer at a voting location in Wickenburg, a city in rural Maricopa County, advised Reuters that each tabulation machines there had been malfunctioning and rejecting ballots.
“That is the whole disenfranchisement of rural voters,” Russell advised Reuters.
Paul Penzone, the Maricopa County Sheriff, stated extra deputies had been deployed to polling places. Barricades had been erected across the county’s elections workplace in central Phoenix in anticipation of potential protests.