Arizona voting machine malfunction fuels fraud claims in far-right circles
Malfunctioning voting machines in Arizona's biggest county, Maricopa, spurred an outpouring of fraud claims by leading right-wing figures on Election Day.
The pivotal county reported issues with the vote-counting machines in some polling locations, but later confirmed that the problem was with the printers, not the software, reports The New York Times. County officials also emphasized that no ballots were mishandled and that nobody was prevented from voting. "None of this indicates any fraud," said Republican Bill Gates, chairman of the Maricopa County board of supervisors. "This is a technical issue."
Despite this, the issue roused claims of fraud with former President Donald Trump writing on Truth Social, "Can this possibly be true when a vast majority of Republicans waited for today to Vote?" Arizona is of particular importance to Trump as it was the first state he targeted in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, Bloomberg reports.
Arizona has battled fraud claims throughout the election season, including from candidates Kari Lake (R) and Blake Masters (R). Arizona also had instances of harassment by poll watchers that ended up being barred by a judge.
There were issues in some other states as well, including with voting machines in Mercer County, New Jersey, and the laptop to check voter registrations in Fort Bend County, Texas. However, officials overwhelmingly confirm that none of the incidents are indicative of fraud and that overall, elections in 2022 took place with minimal issues, CNN reports.
This hasn't stopped Trump, who added, "Here we go again? The people will not stand for it!!!"
Update Nov. 8, 7:28 p.m. ET: A Republican coalition has filed an emergency motion to extend voting in Maricopa County until 10 p.m. local time, citing concerns about voters potentially leaving line due to delays caused by the malfunctions, The Hill reports.
Update Nov. 8, 9 p.m. ET: An Arizona judge has denied the Republican emergency motion, saying there is no evidence that any voters were unable to cast ballots due to the tabulator issues: