The Arizona Attorney General’s Office is demanding an explanation before the state’s biggest county certifies its midterm election results.
State Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Wright has asked Maricopa County to respond to numerous allegations of Election Day mismanagement.
In a letter dated Saturday, Wright summarized allegations of malfunctions pertaining to the reading of ballots printed with faulty ink on county printers as well as possible improprieties related to the transport of ballots that needed to be tabulated using technology at a centralized county facility.
“These complaints go beyond pure speculation, but include first-hand witness accounts that raise concerns regarding Maricopa’s lawful compliance with Arizona election law,” Wright asserted in her letter to the county.
The letter was addressed to Thomas Liddy, civil division chief at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
Wright indicated that the state office’s elections integrity unit has received “hundreds of complaints” stemming from Maricopa election procedures.
The state prosecutor also said official statements made by two county officials — Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates and County Recorder Stephen Richer — possibly violated a section of Arizona law governing county and local elections administration.
“Furthermore, statements made by both Chairman Gates and Recorder Richer, along with information Maricopa County released through official modes of communication appear to confirm potential statutory violations of title 16,” she wrote.
Wright said the state prosecutor’s office possessed a sworn complaint attesting to uncounted ballots that were placed in the secure slot on the vote-counting machine — called “door 3” — being transported in black duffel bags intended for already tabulated ballots.
“Further, we have received a sworn complaint from an election observer indicating that more than 1700 ‘Door 3’ non-tabulated ballots from one voting location were placed in black duffle bags that were intended to be used for tabulated ballots,” she said.
“Door 3” ballots needed to be processed at a central Maricopa County facility, not a local polling place.
Wright asked the county to submit a voluntary report on the questions to the prosecutor’s office before Maricopa County certifies its election on Nov. 28.
Gates rejected insinuations that ballot tabulation problems in the election and lines at polling places amounted to voter suppression in a Saturday video.
NEW: Chairman @billgatesaz directly addresses a claim being made about printer issues that impacted less than 7% of Election Day ballots. “I hate that this happened…but that does not constitute voter suppression. We know what voter suppression looks like in this country.” 1/2 pic.twitter.com/5sfehX0KLF
— Maricopa County (@maricopacounty) November 19, 2022
It was not known Monday how the Arizona Attorney General’s Office intended to proceed with the county’s report.
The state hosted several close elections this month in which outcomes weren’t clear until nearly a week after Election Day.
The Arizona Republic reported that Liddy declined to comment via a spokesman Sunday.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.