The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has opened an inquiry into the state’ handling of the 2022 midterm elections following hundreds of formal complaints of widespread Election Day irregularities.
According to a letter from the AG’s office to the Civil Division Chief, the complaints “go beyond pure speculation, but include first-hand witness accounts that raise concerns regarding Maricopa’s lawful compliance with Arizona election law.”
The letter, signed by Jennifer Wright, the state’s Assistant Attorney General, also cites statements made by Maricopa County Board of Supervisors member Bill Gates and County Recorder Stephen Richer through official modes of communication, which “appear to confirm potential statutory violations of title 16.”
On Election Day, 48 percent of polling locations in Maricopa County had printer or tabulator malfunctions, despite having been tested the night before and having had no reported issued through early voting.
Voters whose ballots were unable to be read by tabulation machines were instructed to drop their ballots in “Door 3,” a separate bin to hold ballots that would later be tabulated at the county’s tabulation center.
The AG’s office states that Arizona election officials appear to have “failed to adhere to the statutory guidelines in segregating, counting, tabulating, tallying, and transporting the ‘Door 3’ ballots.” The letter also charges that “Door 3” non-tabulated ballots were commingled with tabulated ballots at the voting location and that at least one location’s non-tabulated ballots were tossed into black duffle bags intended for tabulated ballots.
Wright says that state residents deserve a “full report and accounting of the myriad problems that occurred” in the administration of the 2022 election, even hinting that state officials could decline to certify the election results absent resolution of lingering questions.
“As the canvass is looming, and these issues relate to Maricopa County’s ability to lawfully certify election results – the Unit requests a response to the aforementioned issues on or before Maricopa County submits its official canvass to the Secretary of State, which must occur on or before November 28, 2022,” Wright stated.
The AG’s office is requesting detailed reports on:
- the voting locations that had problems with either BOD printers or tabulation
- the specific problems at each voting location
- any other issues related to BOD printers and/or tabulators that may have contributed to the problems at voting locations
- a comprehensive log of all changes to the BOD printer configuration settings (to include the identity of individuals making changes)
- Maricopa County’s standards for the BOD printer configuration settings as specified in internal technical specifications and/or manufacturer technical specifications
- the precise time the non-uniform printer configuration settings were found to be the root cause of the problem
- the method used to update or reconfigure the printer configuration settings at each voting location