A judge has denied a motion to extend poll hours in Maricopa County after concerning voter machine tabulation errors occurred in approximately 20% of polling places on Election Day.
#BREAKING: A Maricopa County judge has DENIED a GOP lawsuit to extend poll hours & delay the release of voting numbers.
DETAILS: https://t.co/0JoCt8JVI3 pic.twitter.com/m5hcAktYZ4
— azfamily 3TV CBS 5 (@azfamily) November 9, 2022
“In about 20 percent of vote centers… when people will go, and they try and run the ballot through this tabulator, maybe one out of every five or so of those ballots they’re not going through,” Bill Gates, the chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, revealed on Tuesday morning.
The motion — which was filed jointly by the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaigns of Arizona Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters and gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, and Jill Norgaard — was filed against Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer and members of the county’s Board of Supervisors, including Gates.
“Upon information and belief, as a direct and proximate result of excessive lines and wait times attributable to systemic tabulator malfunctions at vote centers across Maricopa County, numerous qualified electors seeking to cast a ballot have been unable to do so,” the plaintiffs alleged in the motion.
“By preventing voters from obtaining and casting a ballot within a reasonable period of time, these pervasive tabulator malfunctions have effectively truncated the thirteen-hour voting period secured by state law,” the motion argued.
“A reasonable extension of polling location operating hours from 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. is necessary to prevent irreparable injury to the Plaintiffs and their members and supporters, and is demanded by the balance of equities and crucial public policy considerations,” the motion continued.
Despite the fact that Gates had openly admitted earlier in the day that 20% of polling places had been affected by the tabulation issues, a judge denied the motion request later in the evening.
Ultimately, Maricopa County claimed that it had identified the tabulation issue and said that “technicians” were “deployed throughout the county.”
This solution has worked at 17 locations, and technicians deployed throughout the county are working to resolve this issue at the remaining locations. 2/2
— Maricopa County (@maricopacounty) November 8, 2022
Republican National Lawyers Association Chairwoman Harmeet K. Dhillon sent out a tweet about the court’s decision to rule against the temporary restraining order (TRO).
“Hearing concludes. Court rules against the TRO request, despite the admitted problems with voting in Maricopa County, and multiple factual declarations from voters affected by bad instructions and malfunctioning equipment at over 25% of polling places in Maricopa County,” Dhillion tweeted.
Hearing concludes. Court rules against the TRO request, despite the admitted problems with voting in Maricopa County, and multiple factual declarations from voters affected by bad instructions and malfunctioning equipment at over 25% of polling places in Maricopa County. https://t.co/Dl3slewbYG
— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) November 9, 2022
The lawsuit went beyond just the voting machine errors. The plaintiffs also alleged that some poll workers had “refused or failed to ‘check out’ some or all” of voters who had chosen to leave the polling locations after their ballots were “rejected by the malfunctioning electronic tabulation device” and go vote at another location.
Unfortunately, many of these individuals had “erroneously” been marked as already having voted, causing more issues for the voters upon arriving at the new polling location.
“As a result of this malfeasance, the e-pollbooks erroneously designated these individuals as having previously voted in this election,” the lawsuit alleged. “When subsequently presenting at a different vote center, these voters were incorrectly informed that they had already voted and were permitted to complete and submit only a provisional ballot. Upon information and belief, the Defendants will not tabulate these provisional ballots.”
“These pervasive poll worker errors have denied numerous qualified electors of Maricopa County, including supporters of the RNC, NRSC, Blake Masters for Senate, and Kari Lake for Arizona, of their right to vote under Arizona law,” the lawsuit continued.
“Plaintiffs are entitled to a temporary restraining order and/or injunction requiring the Defendants to immediately instruct inspectors at all polling locations in Maricopa County to properly ‘check out’ on the e-poll book any voter who has spoiled a ballot and has chosen not to obtain or cast a replacement ballot,” the lawsuit argued.