Maricopa County, facing a storm of GOP criticism over its handling of the Nov. 8 election, said in a report issued Sunday that problems with printers that surfaced on Election Day did not violate the Arizona Constitution or other guidelines intended to ensure free and fair elections. The county instead blamed prominent Republicans for making their own supporters suspicious of a secure alternative allowing voters who encountered mechanical issues to cast ballots.
The report comes in response to a request from the Arizona attorney general’s office election integrity unit for an account of the Election Day problems before the county is set to certifyits results on Monday. State certification is set for Dec. 5.
Tom Liddy, head of Maricopa County’s civil division and a lifelong Republican, wrote in a five-page letter accompanying the report that “all voters were still provided reasonable, lawful options for voting.” But some Republican voters might have spurned one option — a secure box known as “Door 3” — because GOP leaders, including the state party chair, told voters not to use it, according to the report.
The county’s response aims to undercut claims circulated in recent weeks by Republican candidates in Arizona who have refused to accept the results of the election, in contrast to unsuccessful GOP contestants in other states. The posture of these GOP candidates has made Arizona something of a final frontier for the false claims of systematic election fraud popularized by former president Donald Trump after his 2020 loss.
Much of the in-state battle is pitting Republican officials against other Republicans who are questioning the results. The county’s election board is controlled by Republicans and is led by Bill Gates, a Republican.
Kari Lake, the GOP nominee for governor who was projected nearly two weeks to lose her race to Democrat Katie Hobbs, has refused to concede, pointing to the problems in Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and more than half the state’s voters. Mark Finchem, the GOP candidate for secretary of state who lost by more than 100,000 votes, has said the issues justify a “new election.”