Officials in Arizona’s Maricopa County demanded county elections officials delay certification and answer questions about how the Nov. 8 midterm elections were conducted.
The Maricopa County GOP said in a news release on Nov. 25 that the Maricopa Board of Supervisors should “delay certification” of its election results until those officials have “fully responded” to a letter issued by the Arizona Attorney General’s office and another sent by Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward earlier this month.
On Nov. 8, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates and Recorder Stephen Richer confirmed that there were problems with tabulation machines and later blamed the issue on a printer error.
“People were still able to vote, it was just a matter of maybe not voting in the way they wanted to,” Gates said on Nov. 8. “We do not believe that anyone has been disenfranchised, because no one has been turned away.”
But Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and others say that voters have come forward to say that had issues with casting their ballots on Election Day, prompting Lake to file a lawsuit last week against the county. In a separate interview, Lake said she’ll file a larger suit against the county.
Democrat Katie Hobbs, the current secretary of state who is running against Lake, declared victory earlier this month. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, issued a statement last week that he will be working with Hobbs’s team on transferring power and recognized Hobbs as the winner.
With 99 percent of the vote counted, Hobbs leads Lake by more than 15,000 votes, according to data provided by The Associated Press. Earlier this month, Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters conceded to Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) in another hotly contested statewide race.
According to the Maricopa GOP, county officials need to provide “critical information that Maricopa County voters were NOT disenfranchised” on Nov. 8 and confirmed whether the vote tabulation issues on Nov. 8 had a “material impact on the results of this election.”
“We ask that you respect the voters of Maricopa County, listen to our concerns, and answer our questions before certifying the November 2022 General Election,” they wrote. “It’s the right thing to do.”
In response to the letter, the Maricopa Board of Supervisors indicated that the canvass for the Nov. 8 election will be completed by Monday, Nov. 28. Gates last week also indicated that officials will not delay the vote canvass before certification.
“The employees whom the Custodian of Records will call upon to search for these documents are currently preparing the reports and other documents necessary for the canvass of the election, which the law requires them to complete by Monday, November 28, 2022,” it said. “They cannot set aside their legal obligations to commence the search for these records (or other records identified in other public records requests received before this one) until after the important tasks related to the statutorily required canvass are complete.”
Ward, who posted Maricopa County’s letter on Twitter, criticized county officials over the move.
“Maricopa County says they don’t have records, they don’t have time, & even if they DO find any records if they ever finally have time to look, it will be MUCH too late for Arizona,” Ward wrote on Twitter.
Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and includes some 60 percent of Arizona’s population, has become the center of election lawsuits and challenges in 2022.
It comes as Lake’s team filed a lawsuit (pdf) against Maricopa County that demanded the release of the country’s election records.
“This deadline (or its substantial equivalent) is, under the circumstances presented, necessary to ensure that vital public records are furnished promptly and that apparent deficiencies can be remedied before canvassing of the 2022 general election,” Lake’s complaint said.
“So we filed this lawsuit in court today asking the county to cough up some of the public documentation we need for our bigger lawsuit,” Lake told Just the News on Wednesday.
She added: “Many people are saying they want a redo of Maricopa County. I’ve heard people say throw it out. We have not determined what the remedy is. But I don’t think you can fix what happened.”
The Epoch Times has contacted Maricopa County for comment.