“Today’s canvass represents another important step in the democratic process,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates said in a press release. “I am confident the canvass provides an accurate tally of all legal votes,” he added.
The certification came at the end of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Special Meeting on Monday, where members of the public aired grievances over the election and some contended that it should not be certified.
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Citizens were granted two minutes each to speak at the meeting, with a number of them expressing concerns over printer issues at polling locations in Maricopa County on Election Day.
Republican Kari Lake, who has not conceded after losing the gubernatorial election to her Democrat opponent, Katie Hobbs, posted many of their remarks questioning the election’s integrity to her Twitter page.
Lake’s campaign had alleged that printer issues affected 118 Maricopa County voting centers, breaking news reporter Zach Schonfeld of the Hill reported. On Sunday, the county released data confirming that issues were present at 43 vote centers, adding that as many as 63 could have been affected.
Affected voters had the option of waiting until the technical problems were resolved, placing their ballot in a secure drop box called “door 3,” or checking out of the polling center and voting at another location after spoiling their ballots.
Lake and others in the GOP have also alleged that poll workers did not properly check out some affected voters who went to cast a ballot at a different vote center, meaning it would appear as if they were fraudulently casting a second ballot and result in it not being counted.
County officials on Sunday indicated 206 residents tried to vote at a second location, and 122 of them were not properly checked out. Poll workers gave those voters provisional ballots, and election officials ultimately decided all but 13 of them should count.
The county also reported that 93 percent of polling locations experienced wait times of under one hour, with the majority of all locations having wait times of 15 minutes or less, according to Schonfeld.
“Let me be abundantly clear: There has never been a perfect election, and this was not a perfect election,” Gates said Monday, Just the News reported. “There were issues, but we were transparent about that.”
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, whose office is tasked with signature verification of early ballots before they are sent to the Board of Supervisors for tabulation, spoke during the meeting and asserted that the state could take pragmatic policy steps to expedite the tabulation process for future elections.
“I will happily work with anyone in Arizona who wants to improve voter registration and early voting, and I’m sure the same is true of the board for Election Day and tabulation, but these conversations need to focus on real issues,” said Richer.
“We can spend the next two years as we’ve spent the last two, fighting over conspiracy theories promoted on social media by people who know nothing about elections,” he continued, prompting boos from citizens.
“That didn’t help Arizonans this election, and it won’t help the process for 2024,” he added after Gates regained control of the room. ✪