Technology|Arizona Republicans exaggerate voting points to sow recent doubt about elections.

Stuart A. Thompson

Aug. 3, 2022, 3: 37 p.m. ET

Aug. 3, 2022, 3: 37 p.m. ET

Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake at her primary election night watch party in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Tuesday.
Credit score…Rebecca Noble for The New York Occasions

Republican candidates and conservative media organizations seized on experiences of voting points in Arizona on Tuesday to re-up their case that the state’s elections are damaged and in want of reform, at the same time as state and county officers mentioned the complaints have been exaggerated.

“We’ve bought irregularities all around the state,” Mark Finchem, who gained the Republican nomination for secretary of state in Arizona, mentioned earlier than his victory was introduced.


Credit score…Ash Ponders for The New York Occasions

Gateway Pundit, a conservative web site that breathlessly lined the election rumors on Tuesday, wrote that Arizona’s largest counties have been apparently “rife with severe irregularities which were occurring all day lengthy, sparking much more concern for election integrity.”

There isn’t any proof of any widespread fraud in Tuesday’s election. However the issues raised have been bolstered by quite a lot of issues in Pinal County, the state’s third-most populated county, situated between Phoenix and Tucson. Greater than 63,000 ballots have been mailed with the improper native races on them, requiring new ballots to be issued. On election night time, not less than 20 of 95 precincts in Pinal County were running low on ballots or ran out entirely.

Sophia Solis, the deputy communications director of Arizona’s secretary of state, mentioned voters may nonetheless solid a poll at these precincts utilizing voting machines which can be sometimes utilized by disabled voters.

“We didn’t hear of any widespread issues,” Ms. Solis mentioned, including that “one of many principal points that we did see yesterday was the unfold of mis- and disinformation.”

Kent Volkmer, the legal professional for Pinal County, mentioned there have been extra in-person voters within the county than had been seen earlier than, together with much more impartial voters. He added that many citizens surrendered their mail-in poll so they may vote in individual, probably motivated by the ballot-printing points.

“We don’t assume that there’s practically as many individuals who have been negatively impacted as what’s being associated to the group,” Mr. Volkmer mentioned.

One frequent speaking level on Tuesday resurrected a false principle from 2020, generally known as Sharpiegate, which claimed that markers supplied by ballot staff have been bleeding by means of and invalidating ballots. Election officers have said that machines can learn ballots marked with pens, markers and different devices, and any points may be reviewed manually.

“That is Sharpiegate 2.0,” Ben Berquam, a conservative commentator, mentioned on a livestream. Mr. Finchem shared the conspiracy principle on his Twitter account. The marketing campaign for Ron Watkins, a congressional candidate for Arizona’s Second District who got here in final place in his race on Tuesday, additionally advised that Mr. Watkins’s votes have been being artificially slashed.


Credit score…Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Occasions

Many election fraud theories centered on the governor’s main race between Kari Lake, the Trump-endorsed former information anchor, and Karrin Taylor Robson, who was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence. Ms. Lake was badly trailing her competitor for a lot of the night time, whipping up election fraud theories amongst her supporters. She ultimately took the lead.

Ms. Lake’s allies advised throughout a livestream that the outcomes have been suspicious as a result of many different Trump-aligned candidates have been profitable their races. In Arizona, mail-in ballots obtained earlier than Election Day are counted first, and polling advised these would barely favor Ms. Taylor Robson. In-person votes have been counted on election night time, and Ms. Lake’s supporters most well-liked voting in individual.

As counting continued late into the night time, Ms. Lake claimed victory whereas she was nonetheless trailing Ms. Taylor Robson.

“When the authorized votes are counted, we’re going to win,” Ms. Lake mentioned at her election night time celebration. The Related Press has not yet called the race.

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