Arizona’s AG wades into post-election tension in Maricopa County

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) has waded into tensions over election concerns in Maricopa County, demanding answers about some Election Day printing issues before state election send in final election results. 

The Arizona AG’s Elections Integrity Unit has received “hundreds of complaints” about the state’s election administration since Election Day, Brnovich said in a four-page letter to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office on Saturday.

“These complaints go beyond pure speculation, but include first-hand witness accounts that raise concerns regarding Maricopa’s lawful compliance with Arizona election law,” Brnovich said. 

Brnovich’s letter highlights problems with printer configuration and voter “check-out.”

“Arizonans deserve a full report and accounting of the myriad problems that occurred in relation to Maricopa County’s administration of the 2022 General Election,” Brnovich said.  

Maricopa County elections officials have acknowledged that Election Day printer issues affected some 17,000 ballots, as some ballots weren’t printed with dark enough markings to be read by tabulators. 

The officials said after Election Day that they were investigating the issue, but said that “all ballots affected will be counted securely and accurately” despite the error.

Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who was projected to lose to Democrat Katie Hobbs after a long tabulation process, called her state’s elections process a “laughingstock” and accused election workers of intentionally slowing down the counting.

Trump-backed Lake has refused to concede the close race, and she and her supporters have taken up cries of election fraud, echoing former President Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.

On Election Day, a Republican coalition filed an emergency motion to extend voting hours in Maricopa County due to alleged concerns about voting machines, but a state judge denied the request, saying he “does not have any evidence” that Arizonans were denied their right to vote.

Maricopa, the state’s largest county, faced a number of other issues leading up to Election Day.

Two uniformed “vigilantes” dressed in tactical gear were found outside a Maricopa County dropbox just a few weeks ahead of Nov. 8, during early voting, prompting the Maricopa sheriff to increase security around ballot boxes. 

The Arizona secretary of state also referred a case of possible voter intimidation to the Justice Department and the state’s attorney general after a voter in Maricopa County was “approached and followed” while attempting to cast their ballot.

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