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On Election Day, GOP Raises Doubts About Arizona Elections

Republican candidates and conservative media organizations seized on stories of voting points in Arizona on Tuesday to re-up their case that the state’s elections are damaged and in want of reform, whilst state and county officers stated the complaints had been exaggerated.

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

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

There is not any proof of any widespread fraud in Tuesday’s election. But the issues raised had been bolstered by numerous issues in Pinal County, the state’s third-most populated county, positioned between Phoenix and Tucson. More than 63,000 ballots had been mailed with the flawed native races on them, requiring new ballots to be issued. On election evening, a minimum of 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, stated voters may nonetheless solid a poll at these precincts utilizing voting machines which can be usually utilized by disabled voters.

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

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

“We do not assume that there is almost as many individuals who had been negatively impacted as what’s being associated to the group,” Mr. Volkmer stated.

One widespread speaking level on Tuesday resurrected a false idea from 2020, often called Sharpiegate, which claimed that markers supplied by ballot employees had been bleeding by means of and invalidating ballots. Election officers have stated that machines can learn ballots marked with pens, markers and different devices, and any points will be reviewed manually.

“This is Sharpiegate 2.0,” Ben Berquam, a conservative commentator, stated on a livestream. Mr. Finchem shared the conspiracy idea 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 prompt that Mr. Watkins’ votes had been being artificially slashed.

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 many of the evening, whipping up election fraud theories amongst her supporters. She ultimately took the lead.

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

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

“When the authorized votes are counted, we will win,” Ms. Lake stated at her election evening get together. The Associated Press has not but known as the race.

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