Judge says Maricopa County polling places must close at normal time despite ballot tabulator issues

Nov 8, 2022, 5:13 PM | Updated: 7:01 pm
[5:10 PM] SuElen Rivera
(Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)...
[5:10 PM] SuElen Rivera (Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)
(Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — A judge ruled against a Republican National Committee lawsuit against Maricopa County on Tuesday, denying a request for a three-hour extension for polling centers due to issues with ballot tabulators.

Kari Lake and Blake Masters, Arizona’s GOP gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates, were also plaintiffs on suit that requested polling centers be open until 10 p.m. instead of the usual 7 p.m.

“By preventing voters from obtaining and casting a ballot within a reasonable period of time, these pervasive tabulator malfunctions have effectively truncated the 13 hour voting period secured by state law,” the lawsuit alleges.

Officials said 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.

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.

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 told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos and Chad on Tuesday before the lawsuit was filed.

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Judge says Maricopa County polling places must close at normal time despite ballot tabulator issues