On Election Day, GOP Raises Doubts about Arizona Elections

Republican candidates and conservative media organizations seized on stories of voting points in Arizona on Tuesday to re-up their case that the state’s elections are damaged and in want of reform, at the same time as state and county officers mentioned the complaints have been exaggerated.

“We’ve acquired irregularities all around the state,” Mark Finchem, who received the Republican nomination for secretary of state in Arizona, mentioned earlier than his victory was introduced.

Gateway Pundit, a conservative web site that breathlessly coated the election rumors on Tuesday, wrote that Arizona’s largest counties have been apparently “rife with severe irregularities which were occurring all day lengthy, sparking much more concern for election integrity.”

There isn’t any proof of any widespread fraud in Tuesday’s election. But the issues raised have been bolstered by numerous issues in Pinal County, the state’s third-most populated county, situated between Phoenix and Tucson. More than 63,000 ballots have been mailed with the incorrect native races on them, requiring new ballots to be issued. On election night time, at the least 20 of 95 precincts Pinal County have been operating low on ballots or ran out solely.

Sophia Solis, the deputy communications director of Arizona’s secretary of state, mentioned voters may nonetheless solid a poll at these precincts utilizing voting machines which can be sometimes utilized by disabled voters.

“We didn’t hear of any widespread issues,” Mr. Solis mentioned, including that “one of many fundamental points that we noticed yesterday was the unfold of mis- and disinformation.”

Kent Volkmer, the lawyer for Pinal County, mentioned there have been extra in-person voters within the county than had been seen earlier than, together with much more unbiased voters. He added that many citizens surrendered their mail-in poll so they may vote in particular person, presumably motivated by the ballot-printing points.

“We do not suppose that there is almost as many individuals who have been negatively impacted as what’s being associated to the group,” Mr. Volkmer mentioned.

One widespread speaking level on Tuesday resurrected a false principle from 2020, often known as Sharpiegate, which claimed that markers supplied by ballot staff have been bleeding via and invalidating ballots. Election officers have mentioned that machines can learn ballots marked with pens, markers and different devices, and any points may be reviewed manually.

“This is Sharpiegate 2.0,” Ben Berquam, a conservative commentator, mentioned on a livestream. Mr. Finchem shared the conspiracy principle on his Twitter account. The marketing campaign for Ron Watkins, a congressional candidate for Arizona’s Second District who got here in final place in his race on Tuesday, additionally steered that Mr. Watkins’ votes have been being artificially slashed.

Many election fraud theories targeted on the governor’s major race between Kari Lake, the Trump-endorsed former information anchor, and Karrin Taylor Robson, who was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence. Ms. Lake was badly trailing her competitor for a lot of the night time, whipping up election fraud theories amongst her supporters. She finally took the lead.

Ms. Lake’s allies steered throughout a livestream that the outcomes have been suspicious as a result of many different Trump-aligned candidates have been successful their races. In Arizona, mail-in ballots obtained earlier than Election Day are counted first, and polling steered these would barely favor Ms. Taylor Robson. In-person votes have been counted on election night time, and Ms. Lake’s supporters most well-liked voting in particular person.

As counting continued late into the night time, Ms. Lake claimed victory whereas she was nonetheless trailing Ms. Taylor Robson.

“When the authorized votes are counted, we’ll win,” Ms. Lake mentioned at her election night time occasion. The Associated Press has not but known as the race.

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