Both Ms. Gilbertson and Mr. Ellington stated that the mass malfunction of the printers had to this point baffled the county’s and the corporate’s technicians. Ms. Gilbertson stated that a full investigation could be carried out as soon as the extra instant process of counting the ballots had been accomplished.
“We are going to look into the root cause,” Ms. Gilbertson stated.
Technicians had solved the printer drawback by late morning on Election Day, and by the afternoon the affected printers’ settings had been up to date. In the meantime, ballot staff supplied voters three choices for casting their ballots. The easiest was to position them in a slot marked “3” within the locked field beneath the tabulator, for assortment and counting later on the county’s central elections facility in downtown Phoenix.
But inside two hours of the primary printer issues, wild claims and free-floating suspicions had been circulating on social media surrounding Slot 3, or Box 3 because it was typically referred to as, together with posts by Kelli Ward, the chairwoman of the state Republican Party, and Andy Biggs, a Republican congressman from Arizona. After Maricopa County officers on Twitter had knowledgeable voters affected by the glitch of their choices, together with utilizing Box 3, Ms. Ward tweeted in response: “DO NOT PUT YOUR BALLOT IN ‘BOX 3’ TO BE TABULATED DOWNTOWN. Maricopa County is not turning on their tabulators downtown today!” Her put up was retweeted virtually 400 occasions.
As the day went on, Ms. Lake’s marketing campaign, cautious of miserable turnout, started gently pushing again on its political allies’ claims.
Harmeet Dhillon, a lawyer for the marketing campaign, tried to reassure voters on Twitter in regards to the integrity of their ballots that had been put aside for later counting. “They have to have this,” she wrote of Box 3. “It isn’t nefarious per se.” At a information convention, Ms. Lake urged her supporters to remain in line to vote, and Ms. Dhillon once more reassured them about utilizing Box 3.
County election officers have blamed the Box 3 claims and different conspiracy theories for exacerbating the slowdowns and confusion brought on by the printer malfunctions. Ms. Gilbertson stated that 146 provisional ballots out of the near-total of 1.6 million votes counted to this point within the county had been put aside for additional analysis, as a result of the voters had checked in at multiple polling place.
Bill Gates, the chairman of the Maricopa board of supervisors and a former election lawyer for the state Republican Party, stated some voters “were insisting on putting the ballot through the tabulator 10, 20, even 40 times.”