Printer Issue Impacted 17,000 Ballots

( During Tuesday’s election, Maricopa County in Arizona once again landed in the spotlight when over 20 percent of voting locations experienced a printer issue that caused malfunctions in the tabulation machines.

Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward was the first to report the tabulation issues occurring in Maricopa County polling places on Tuesday morning. Shortly afterward, local media confirmed that at least one tabulation machine in Maricopa County was having a problem. Later in the morning, local outlets as well as county officials reported that as many as one in five polling locations were having problems.

According to county officials, the tabulation machine problem was caused by printers not producing dark enough ink on the ballots for the machines to read them.

Arizona Republicans tried and failed to get the voting deadline extended by 3 hours in Maricopa County.

Just hours before the polls closed, a Maricopa County judge called an emergency hearing on the request but declined to extend the deadline.

According to ABC15’s data and political analyst Garret Archer, Republican lawyers told the judge they would challenge the fight over the conditional provision ballots cast by individuals who checked in at a polling location but left due to the tabulation issues.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake used Twitter to urge voters to follow the suggestions of county officials. Both Lake and Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters urged supporters to remain in line and wait until their vote is counted.

During a news conference on Wednesday, Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates apologized for the problems at the polling sites.

According to Gates, “the lion’s share” of the 250,000 in-person votes cast on Tuesday had been counted and reported, but 7 percent, or about 17,000 ballots, were placed in a drop box and had not been counted due to the printing problem.

Gates vowed that the county board would conduct “a deep dive” to make sure the problem doesn’t happen again.