Arizona election officials report issues with vote-counting machines at 20% of polling locations in Maricopa County

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors chairman Bill Gates reported on Tuesday morning that approximately 20% of the voting centers in Arizona’s largest county are experiencing issues with vote-counting tabulators.

“About 20% of the locations out there where there’s an issue with the tabulator where some of the ballots that after people have voted them, they try and run them through the tabulator and they’re not going through,” Gates stated.


Gates stated that if the tabulator does not accept a ballot, voters can place their ballots inside a “secure box,” and they will be manually counted in the evening at a central counting location. A majority of Arizona counties tabulate ballots this way, Gates added.

“This will function much like early voting functions, in that we would get your ballot back, once we’ve signature-verified it, we would send it to our central tabulators,” Gates said. “Ballots that are [at the central location] will already be signature-verified, so we won’t need to confirm identity but we will central-tabulate them.”

Voters across the county took to social media to report tabulator malfunctions at multiple Maricopa County locations. Residents captured videos of election workers announcing issues with the vote-counting machines.

“We have two tabulators. One of the tabulators is not working,” an election worker at one Maricopa voting center explained to voters waiting in line to cast their ballots. “The other tabulator is taking about 75% successful. So, 25% of them are being misread. And it could be a printer issue, or it could be the tabulator itself. So, when it’s misread, you have an option to put it into what’s called box three, and it gets read. Whether it goes downtown and gets read manually or whether it gets refed into our tabulator.”


Another video shared on social media captured an election worker explaining how ballots placed into box three will be counted.

“Tonight, a Republican and a Democrat will sit and go through all of the misread ballots all over the county and count them,” the election worker explained. She added that none of the tabulators at the voting location were working correctly.

“Nothing’s working for the last half hour,” she noted.


According to the elections department, as of Tuesday, there were 2,463,264 active voters in Maricopa County. As of 11 a.m. ET, roughly 44,000 voters had cast their ballots in person.

Katie Hobbs (D), Arizona’s current secretary of state and a gubernatorial candidate, refused calls to recuse herself from overseeing the midterm elections.

The tabulator issues in Maricopa County are expected to delay the announcement of the results in the critical gubernatorial race between Democrat Katie Hobbs and Republican Kari Lake and the Senate race between Democrat Mark Kelly and Republican Blake Masters.


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