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Maricopa County Plans Probe Into Printer Issues During November Elections

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Officials in Maricopa County, Arizona, announced on Friday that they would conduct an investigation into widespread reports of problems with printers during the contested November election following complaints from scores of voters and legal action from former GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

Former Arizona Supreme Court Justice Ruth McGregor said she would lead the “independent” probe, according to county officials. The former justice was a member of the state’s highest court from 1998 to 2009 and took part in the 2019 investigation into security issues involving Arizona prisons, the Daily Wire reported.

McGregor plans to hire a team of “independent experts to find out why the printers that read ballots well in the August Primary had trouble reading some ballots while using the same settings in the November General,” Maricopa Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates and Vice Chairman Clint Hickman noted in the statement. “Our voters deserve nothing less.”

The outlet noted further:

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After Maricopa County, which includes the capital of Phoenix and is Arizona’s most populous county, became an epicenter of voter integrity issues stemming from the 2020 presidential election, it again faced controversy in last year’s November 8 contest when tabulators in roughly 70 of 223 voting centers reportedly had trouble reading ballots. The problems were attributed to printers that failed to produce sufficiently dark “timing marks” to inform scanners of voter information, according to the Associated Press.

In response to a November request for information from Arizona’s then-Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Maricopa County said affected residents were offered alternative ways to vote and insisted the printer glitches did not prevent anyone from casting ballots. Still, some candidates have raised concerns.

The decision by Maricopa County officials to launch the probe comes after Lake filed a lawsuit not challenging her loss to then-Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who has been sworn in as governor, but the manner in which the election was conducted. In her suit, Lake claimed that county election officials worked to disenfranchise voters, alleging further that “hundreds of thousands of illegal ballots infected the election in Maricopa County.” She also mentioned the malfunctioning printers were an issue.

A judge tossed the lawsuit, but Lake has filed an appeal.

Lake filed two appeals on Wednesday related to a lawsuit challenging her loss in the Arizona gubernatorial race in November. Lake also filed a motion to have her lawsuit heard by the Arizona Supreme Court, which was denied.

“Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson ruled against Lake’s challenge after finding the court was not presented with clear and convincing evidence in the widespread misconduct, she alleged influenced the election results,” Fox News reported. “Lake, on Wednesday, filed an appeal with the Appeals Court on Judge Thompson’s ruling. She also filed a motion to send the appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court, asking to skip a step with the Appeals Court. Arizona’s Supreme Court denied the request to transfer the appeal.”

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In its decision, the Arizona Supreme Court said, “no good cause appears to transfer the matter to this court.”

Lake provided an update on Wednesday night via Twitter: “My court case will be going before the Appeals Court prior to the Arizona Supreme Court because it’s already been scheduled for review. This decision was done without prejudice & I am confident the case will end up in their hands eventually. We’re moving forward.”

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Lake revealed last week that she is open to a hand recount after her election loss to Arizona Democrat Gov. Katie Hobbs, who was sworn in on Jan. 2, by around 17,000 votes.

In response to a Twitter user calling for a “full hand recount of all AZ ballots,” Lake replied with three simple words: “Yes. We. Do.”

Lake is asking the Arizona Court of Appeals to reconsider all ten counts of a lawsuit that were tossed by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson.

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Lake is also asking the appeals court to overturn the decision for her to pay $33,000 in fees to Hobbs.

Judge Peter Thompson denied a request from Hobbs seeking sanctions against Lake.

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