Arizona’s Maricopa County Starts Hand Count Audit as Numerous Ballots Remain Unprocessed

Arizona’s Maricopa County Starts Hand Count Audit as Numerous Ballots Remain Unprocessed
Election workers sort ballots at the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center in Phoenix on Nov. 9, 2022. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Officials in Maricopa County, Arizona, started a hand-count audit of about 400,000 ballots, it was announced Wednesday night.

“The hand count audit has begun,” Maricopa County’s election department wrote on Twitter. “Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian party chairs drew the races and ballots that hand count audit boards will review Saturday.”

They added that it is “an important step in ensuring the accuracy of the 2022 General Election results.”

The reason behind the hand-count audit is to “compare the results of the original count to the hand count to assure that the tabulation equipment is working properly” and counting votes in an accurate manner, says the Arizona secretary of state’s website.

Voters in Arizona are still awaiting the final results of the gubernatorial and Senate races. The secretary of state’s office estimates that there are about 400,000 uncounted ballots that are still outstanding.

On Tuesday, top Maricopa County officials stated that vote tabulating equipment had problems processing ballots. Later in the day, authorities blamed the problem on a “printer issue” after telling voters to place their completed ballots in a drop box.

County Supervisor Bill Gates said that about 7 percent of ballots that were cast on Election Day were put in drop boxes after the tabulators suffered problems.

“There is no perfect election. Yesterday was not a perfect election,” Gates said. “We will learn from it and do better.”

Arizona and Maricopa officials have received a bevy of criticism from Republicans over the exceptionally slow counting process. Authorities said they might be finished by Friday.

Candidates Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Katie Hobbs, the Democrat secretary of state, maintain narrow leads over their Republican counterparts. GOP candidates Kari Lake and Blake Masters are challenging in the governor’s race and Senate race, respectively.

“We’re going to go back to small precincts where it’s easier to detect problems and easier to fix them and it’ll be easier to hand count votes as well,” Lake told Fox News on Wednesday night. “These are some of the things I’d like to see happen. I’ll work with the Legislature.”

From The Epoch Times

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