Investigation reveals printer issues that plagued Maricopa County in 2022

Published: Monday, April 10, 2023 - 3:08pm
Updated: Tuesday, April 11, 2023 - 10:25am
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Maricopa County may replace some of its voting equipment after a post-election investigation concluded some of its printers were unable to consistently print dark enough ink that could be read by ballot-counting machines at in-person voting sites.

The investigation, led by retired Arizona Supreme Court Justice Ruth McGregor, found that “some older printers could not maintain the heat required to consistently print ballots dark enough to be read by the on-site tabulators.”

According to county officials, McGregor’s investigation confirmed the county’s own initial findings after printer issues arose on November 8, the day of the 2022 General Election.

Overall, roughly 17,000 ballots were impacted on Election Day. Rather than have their votes read on-site, voters were asked to place them in a secure box. The ballots were later tabulated at the county’s central elections headquarters.

Investigators recommended several possible solutions, from replacing the printers at issue, using lighter weight paper for ballots, and overhauling the stress tests used ahead of elections to identify possible problems before hand.

Republican Clint Hickman, chair of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement it was important to conduct an outside investigation.

“We don’t grade our own homework,” Hickman said, “and now that we have a better idea of the factors involved, we’ll make changes to best serve voters, starting with replacing some voter equipment.”

For more on what the review found and how the county plans to move forward, The Show spoke with is Jen Fifield of Votebeat.

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Hear Jen Fifield of Votebeat discuss the report with Lauren Gilger on The Show