Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward Sends Letter to Maricopa County Demanding Answers to Election Shortcomings

Arizona Republican Party (AZGOP) Chairwoman Dr. Kelli Ward sent a letter to Maricopa County Tuesday demanding answers to several issues and shortcomings seen on Election Day.

“Given the systemic election failures experienced by voters in Maricopa County on Election Day, it is of paramount that a full accounting of every reconciled ballot and checked-in voter be done to assure the public that every vote was properly counted,” wrote Ward.

The letter, co-signed by the Maricopa County Republican Party Chairwoman Mickie Niland, demands that the county provide the AZGOP with a list of reports relating to several issues seen on Election Day.

The first report involves people who tried to vote in person at polling locations but were interrupted by ballot tabulation issues. As the county revealed, printers with incorrect settings led to ballots being printed on Election Day that tabulation machines had trouble scanning. It was not immediately apparent this was the cause of the problem, which led to long lines as people attempted to get their ballots counted. Maricopa County told voters waiting to get their vote tabulated they could check out from their current voting location and check back in somewhere else not experiencing the issues. Printer errors affected 70 locations across the county.

The AZGOP wants to know how many people did this. Ward and Niland requested the county provide a complete record of all voters who checked in to a voting center but then attempted to do the same thing at a different location to cast a vote. The two also asked for a full list of people who voted using a provisional ballot or dropped off an early mail ballot on Election Day that was voided by the county.

Relating to the printer issues, the AZGOP also requested more information on how it could have happened in the first place. The Republicans asked for records showing the “manner and method” used by the county to test the printers before Election Day and what tests were used by poll workers setting up at polling stations.

However, in-person voters had another option to cast their vote when faced with printer issues, drop the ballot in “Door 3,” a containment area within the tabulation machine. Votes were meant to stay there until a bipartisan team transported them to the Maricopa County tabulation center for counting. However, a letter from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO), which also requested information from the county regarding Election Day shortcomings, revealed that some of these uncounted “Door 3” ballots were mixed with already tabulated votes at some polling locations.

The AZGOP asked for records from Maricopa County explaining how it amended this issue and separated these “commingled” ballots.

Furthermore, two major races in Arizona are still too close to call, and an automatic recount has been triggered in the Attorney General and Superintendent of Public Instruction races. Ward and Niland requested records detailing how the county plans to handle this recount.

“While disclosing the records reflecting this data and the process for reconciling these issues cannot restore the loss of suffrage for voters who were disenfranchised by the long lines and confusion, it is absolutely necessary for immediate transparency,” wrote Ward.

The two Republicans requested a response by the end of the day on Friday.

– – –

Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Kelli Ward” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Election Day” by Phil Roeder. CC BY 2.0.


Related posts