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 got irregularities all over the state,” Mark Finchem, who gained 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 serious irregularities that have been occurring all day long, sparking even 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 fallacious native races on them, requiring new ballots to be issued. On election evening, not less than 20 of 95 precincts in Pinal County were running low on ballots or ran out entirely.
Sophia Solis, the deputy communications director of Arizona’s secretary of state, mentioned voters may nonetheless cast a poll at these precincts utilizing voting machines which can be sometimes utilized by disabled voters.
“We did not hear of any widespread problems,” Ms. Solis mentioned, including that “one of the main issues that we did see yesterday was the spread of mis- and disinformation.”
Kent Volkmer, the legal professional for Pinal County, mentioned there have been extra in-person voters within the county than had been seen earlier than, together with way more impartial voters. He added that many citizens surrendered their mail-in poll so they might vote in individual, presumably motivated by the ballot-printing points.
“We don’t think that there’s nearly as many people who were negatively impacted as what’s being related to the community,” Mr. Volkmer mentioned.
One widespread speaking level on Tuesday resurrected a false principle from 2020, often called Sharpiegate, which claimed that markers provided by ballot staff have been bleeding by and invalidating ballots. Election officers have said 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 instructed that Mr. Watkins’s 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 evening, whipping up election fraud theories amongst her supporters. She finally took the lead.
Ms. Lake’s allies instructed 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 instructed these would barely favor Ms. Taylor Robson. In-person votes have been counted on election evening, and Ms. Lake’s supporters most well-liked voting in individual.
As counting continued late into the evening, Ms. Lake claimed victory whereas she was nonetheless trailing Ms. Taylor Robson.
“When the legal votes are counted, we’re going to win,” Ms. Lake mentioned at her election evening social gathering. The Associated Press has not but referred to as the race.