Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake appears in a good spot to repeat her come-from-behind primary victory and win her contest with Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs to become the state’s next governor.
The win would come despite ballot tabulation machine problems in one-quarter of the polling locations in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous county encompassing the Phoenix metropolitan area.
As of about 9:30 p.m. election night — over two hours after the polls closed — Hobbs jumped out to 14 percentage point, roughly 183,000 vote lead.
The Democrat continued to hold a large edge throughout the evening, based on the early voting ballot tallies.
MORE RESULTS 🗳
Another round of counted ballots have been dropped. Katie Hobbs maintains a slight lead over Kari Lake in the race for Arizona governor.
LATEST RESULTS: https://t.co/6flUAib0SW pic.twitter.com/FdQz2qrnZX
— ABC15 Arizona (@abc15) November 9, 2022
However, by Wednesday morning as Election Day totals came in from throughout the state, Hobbs’ lead had narrowed to less than a half of a percentage point.
The August primary race between Lake and establishment Republican candidate Karrin Taylor Robson played out in similar fashion with Lake taking the lead on the Wednesday after the election and ultimately winning the race.
After tabulations from Pinal of about 50k ballots this morning. The statewide contests in AZ have tightened further.
— The AZ – abc15 – Data Guru (@Garrett_Archer) November 9, 2022
So Election Day made the difference for Lake in August, so it was no doubt concerning to her campaign when Maricopa County officials confirmed reports that ballot tabulation machines were down in 60 polling locations throughout the county, leading to long lines and frustrated voters.
The problem with the tabulating machines was identified to be a ballot printing issue, which was corrected by midday.
Sixty percent of registered Arizona voters live in Maricopa County.
Remaining ballots (Election Day & Early Drop-offs) are all breaking BIGLY for @KariLake. Just like we knew they would.
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) November 9, 2022
In the Republican stronghold of Anthem, a community on the north side of Phoenix, the line stretched for what appeared to be a quarter of a mile at just after 1 p.m. and remained that long at 6 p.m.
Voters reported having to wait close to two hours to cast their ballots at both times.
The polling location director told The Western Journal all the ballot printers were working when asked at 1 p.m.
Quarter mile-long voting line at Republican stronghold Anthem, AZ polling location on north side of Phoenix. Spoke with site director and he said ballot printing machines that were malfunctioning this morning are now working. @AZGOP @elliott_echols @tylerbowyer pic.twitter.com/rb065hwZbM
— Randy DeSoto (@RandyDeSoto) November 8, 2022
Similar printer problems were also playing out on the east of Phoenix in Mesa, which in 2017 was named the most conservative city in the United States.
Arizona Republican National Committee member Tyler Bowyer said that the tabulator where he went to vote would not accept his ballot because the print quality was too poor.
I just voted in person in MESA & this is how it printed. The reader rejected it & had we not inspected the ballot before voting we likely would have been told just to leave the ballot behind
The Poll Chief reprinted a new ballot. She said this is an ongoing issue with printers! pic.twitter.com/Gpy2vUcYzL
— Tyler Bowyer 🇺🇸 (@tylerbowyer) November 8, 2022
Lake advised her followers to go vote in the Democratic strongholds as these locations were having fewer problems and shorter lines.
🚨 ARIZONA 🚨
Check this website out to find voting locations with little to no lines. ⤵️https://t.co/LXeDMRCcVI
Democrat areas are less crowded & are experiencing fewer problems. (Downtown Phx, South Phx, Tempe) Take friends & VOTE!
VOTE NO MATTER WHAT!
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) November 8, 2022
Lake hit election officials at her watch party Tuesday night in Scottsdale, Arizona, saying, “If we have to fight through the BS and the garbage then we will fight through the BS and the garbage.”
“We needed another stark reminder that we have incompetent people running the show in Arizona,” she added. “We had great patriots show up early at the polls only to be told the election equipment didn’t work.”
“So we’re going to be patient,” Lake said, “and we will take the victory when it comes.”