ARIZONA NEWS

Maricopa County officials say they have fix for ballot tabulator issues

Nov 8, 2022, 2:33 PM | Updated: 3:19 pm
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer (left) and Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates discuss...
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer (left) and Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates discuss Election Day issues with ballot tabulators on Nov. 8, 2022, in Phoenix. (KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)
(KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX – Officials say printer settings were to blame for ballot tabulator issues that impacted voters at more than a quarter of Maricopa County’s vote centers on Election Day.

“It appears that some of our printers were not producing dark enough timing marks on the ballot, and we’ve been able to implement this solution already at about 17 of the locations,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos and Chad Show just after 2 p.m. Tuesday, eight hours after the polls opened.

The announcement came about two hours after Gates told KTAR News that voters at around 60 of the county’s 223 vote center had experienced issues with the ballot-counting machines.

The problem was that some tabulators weren’t able to successfully process every completed ballot. Technicians figured out that changing the printer settings resolved the issue and have been working to make the fixes at all the impacted vote centers.

“It’s not a situation where they’re not working at all, where the tabulation machines are down. … It’s intermittent that the issue is happening,” Gates said earlier in the day.

Officials say the problems didn’t prevent anybody from casting their ballot and all the votes cast Tuesday will be tallied by the end of Election Day operations. The county has no plans to extend voting hours unless a court orders it.

“Everyone who’s shown up today at a polling place with a valid ID has had the opportunity to vote, period, and their vote is counting,” Gates said.

Voters who ran into problems were able to check out of the vote center and try another location or put their completed ballot into a secure box to be tallied later at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center.

“The only issue that we have had, and it has been an inconvenience for folks, is that at some of these vote locations people have been trying to put that ballot into the tabulator, the tabulator has not accepted it,” Gates told Gaydos and Chad.

There are no precincts in Maricopa County, so registered voters can cast their ballot at any Valley vote center until the polls close at 7 p.m. Locations and wait times can be found at Locations.Maricopa.Vote.

“All ballots are still ultimately tabulated,” Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer told KTAR News’ The Mike Broomhead Show on Tuesday morning, when the problems were first reported. “It will be tabulated … just like an early ballot is tabulated at our central facility and just like the majority of other counties in Arizona do, where they central count tabulate everything.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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              Voters wait in line outside a polling station, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            Voters wait to cast their ballots at the Biltmore Fashion Park on Nov. 8, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona. After months of candidates campaigning, Americans are voting in the midterm elections to decide close races across the nation. After months of candidates campaigning, Americans are voting in the midterm elections to decide close races across the nation. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images) Bill Gates, Chairman of the Maricopa Board of Supervisors, speaks about voting machine malfunctions at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center on Nov. 08, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona. He said that about 20 percent of polling stations in the county have had tabulation machine malfunctions, where some ballots cannot be read. These ballots, he said, are being set aside for tabulation at the central election center in the evening after the polls close. After months of candidates campaigning, Americans are voting in the midterm elections to decide close races across the nation. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) A voter arrives to cast their ballot at the Phoenix Art Museum on November 08, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. After months of candidates campaigning, Americans are voting in the midterm elections to decide close races across the nation. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images) Teresa Brice from the Election Protection Arizona Association sits in front of the voting center at the Burton Central Library in Phoenix, Arizona, on Nov. 8, 2022. (Photo by Olivier Touron/ AFP via Getty Images) A voter casts his ballot at a drop box on Nov. 8, 2022, in Mesa, Arizona. After months of candidates campaigning, Americans are voting in the midterm elections to decide close races across the nation. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) Maricopa County officials Stephen Richer and Bill Gates explain the technical issues plaguing some voting sites in metro Phoenix on Nov. 8, 2022. Richer is the county recorder; Gates is chair of the county board of supervisors. (KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino) A woman waves an American flag to greet motorists as they head to vote in the US midterm election at The Cesar Chavez Cultural Center in San Luis, Arizona on November 8, 2022. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images) Outside the voting center at Burton Barr Library in Phoenix on Nov. 8, 2022. (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross) Security is in place at Maricopa County Elections Department headquarters in Phoenix on Nov. 8, 2022. (KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino) Maricopa County Elections Department headquarters in Phoenix on Nov. 8, 2022. (KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino) Security is in place at Maricopa County Elections Department headquarters in Phoenix on Nov. 8, 2022. (KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino) Security is in place at Maricopa County Elections Department headquarters in Phoenix on Nov. 8, 2022. (KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino) (KTAR News Photo/Griselda Zetino) A voter drops off ballots at Burton Barr Library in Phoenix on Nov. 8, 2022. (KTAR News Photo/Jim Cross) Voters stand in line to cast their ballots at The Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Centers in Yuma, Arizona, on Nov.8, 2022. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images)

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Maricopa County officials say they have fix for ballot tabulator issues