Voters are growing apprehensive amid sudden voting difficulties in certain parts of the country beginning with Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous county and the country’s fourth-largest, on an already-tense midterm election day.
Video footage circulating social media show one poll worker explaining to a long line of waiting voters that 25% of ballots are not being read by the voting machines and offering voters the option of placing a paper ballot in a box to be shipped and counted downtown.
“So it happens that we have two tabulators,” the poll worker tells the crowd. “One of the tabulators is not working, ok? The other tabulator is taking about 75% successful. So 25% of them are being misread and it could be a printer issue and it could be the tabulator itself. So when it’s misread, you have the option to put it into what’s called ‘Box 3’ and it gets read, whether it goes downtown and gets read manually or whether it gets re-fed into our tabulator.”
“Nobody’s trying to deceive anybody,” promised the poll worker.
But the crowd did not appear to agree.
“No, of course not,” said one voter sarcastically as others protested. “Not on Election Day, that would never happen, right?”
“I don’t trust it going into box, the box may never make it down there,” said one woman as she left the line. “I’ll go somewhere else.”
According to Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, about 20% of polling places have issues with tabulation and are offering the “Box 3” option where ballots are packed into boxes and sent downtown to be manually counted.
Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake urged voters not to try voting at another polling place.
“If you have already *checked in* at a Maricopa County voting location where the tabulators do not work, you should *not* leave and go to another location without casting a vote. Your provisional ballot at the new location likely will not count,” Lake tweeted.
“If you have already checked in at a Maricopa County voting location where the tabulators do not work, you can (1) wait for your ballot to be tabulated on site, (2) ask to use the handicapped voting machine, or (3) leave your ballot in a box to be counted later.”
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, all voting machines in every district Mercer County are down due to a “system outage,” according to ABC News. Residents are being urged to vote on standard ballots.