Maricopa County officials committed to find out what led to ballot printer issues

Nov 9, 2022, 9:10 PM | Updated: 9:40 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 — After 7% of voters were impacted by ballot printer issues across Maricopa County on Election Day, officials said Wednesday evening they are committed to determine what caused the problem at 70 voting centers.

“Over the past 24 hours, we have learned more about the printer issue that caused some ballots to not be read at Vote Centers yesterday…We understand that for people who went through it, this was frustrating, inconvenient and not how they pictured Election Day. We plan to get to the bottom of it,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman and Vice Chairman Clint Hickman said in a joint statement.

Officials said they aim to find the root cause of the issue after elections is over.

In the statement, they said the printer settings for Ballot-On-Demand printers were the same as ones used in the August Primary.

Previously, technicians said the problem was the printer settings, not the tabulator themselves.

The paper used for casting votes was also the same thickness as the ones used in August, and the Election Department test-printed and test-tabulated hundreds of ballots without issue, according to the statement. It wasn’t immediately known how many tabulators at separate voting centers had been tested.

“The good news is election administration has built in redundancies — backup plans when things don’t go as planned,” the statement said.

“This enables all valid votes to count even if technology, on occasion, fails.”

About 17,000 ballots cast at polls had to be placed in Door 3, a secure compartment on tabulators used when machines are unable to scan the votes.

Those ballots were later collected by election workers and taken to be tallied at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center.

“We are proud of the hybrid model we’ve created that allows registered voters to cast a ballot in the way they choose, by mail or in person, with bipartisan oversight,” the statement said.

“And we are confident in the work still to be done to count every vote securely and accurately.”

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Maricopa County officials committed to find out what led to ballot printer issues