Maricopa County, Arizona Supervisor Bill Gates apologized after roughly 20% of their polling sites had problems with tabulation machines reading ballots just hours after Election Day polls opened.
The Arizona county had explained that some machines had problems with their printers and were not producing dark enough ink on ballots.
During a Wednesday news conference, Gates said that of the approximately 250,000 in-person votes that were cast on Election Day, “the lion’s share” have been counted and reported, but 7% – or about 17,000 ballots – were placed in a drop box and had still not been counted due to the printing errors.
“Apologized yesterday. I will do it again today. What happened yesterday we cannot have a repeat of. We are already looking very closely at what happened. Obviously, our team was able to come up with a fix yesterday for what happened. So that allowed those votes centers to get back online. But again, we are going to do a deep dive on this. This board will get to the bottom of exactly what happened, and we will do what needs to be done.”
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Gates rejected the idea that there was any criminal activity afoot or any other foul play but acknowledged that “yesterday was not a perfect election.”
“With regard to ‘criminal’ or ‘rigged,’ there is absolutely no basis for that statement,” he said.
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Gates said that the county has already reported nearly 1.2 million votes, while roughly 400,000 or more still had to be counted and reported. These are mainly early votes that had been dropped off between Friday and Tuesday, including at least 275,000 on Tuesday.
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Gates added that the county will continue to provide updates on new numbers every evening and that he expects 95-99% of ballots to be reported by Friday.