Republican candidates and conservative media seized on reports of Arizona voting troubles Tuesday to reiterate their stance that the state’s elections are derailed and in need of reform, even as state and county officials said, that the complaints were exaggerated.
“We’ve got disruptions across the state” Mark Finchamwho won the Republican nomination for secretary of state in Arizona, said before his victory was announced.
Gateway Pundit, a conservative website that covered election rumors with bated breath on Tuesday, wrote that Arizona’s largest counties appear to be “rife with major violations that occur throughout the day, raising even more concern about fairness of the elections.
There is no evidence of any widespread fraud in Tuesday’s elections. But the concerns expressed have been reinforced by a number of concerns in Pinal County, the state’s third-most populous county between Phoenix and Tucson. More than 63,000 ballots were mailed with incorrect local races, necessitating the issuance of new ballots. On election night, at least 20 of the 95 polling stations in Ballots were running out in Pinal County or they were completely out.
Sophia Solis, deputy director of communications for the Arizona secretary of state, said voters can still vote in these precincts using voting machines commonly used by voters with disabilities.
“We haven’t heard of any massive issues,” Ms said. Solis said, adding that “one of the main problems we saw yesterday was the spread of false and misinformation.”
Kent Volkmer, Pinal County Attorney, said the county has more voters than ever before, including many more independent voters. He added that many voters turned in their mail-in ballots to vote in person, possibly due to issues with printing ballots.
“We don’t think there are fewer negatively impacted people than there are in the community,” Mr. Volkmer said.
On Tuesday, one of the common topics of discussion revived a 2020 false theory known as Sharpiegate, which claimed that markers offered by survey workers leaked and invalidated ballots. Electoral officials said that machines can read ballots marked with pens, markers and other tools, and any questions can be reviewed manually.
“This is Sharpiegate 2.0,” conservative commentator Ben Berkuam said live. mr. Finham shared the conspiracy theory on his Twitter account. The campaign for Ron Watkins, the congressional candidate for Arizona’s Second District, who finished last in his race on Tuesday, also suggested that Mr. Watkins’ votes were artificially cut.
Many of the election fraud theories have centered on the primary gubernatorial race between Kari Lake, a Trump-backed former news anchor, and Karrin Taylor Robson, who was backed by former Vice President Mike Pence. Mrs. Lake was well behind her rival for most of the night, stoking theories of election fraud among her supporters. She eventually took the lead.
Mrs. Lake’s allies suggested during the live broadcast that the results were suspicious because many other Trump-linked candidates were winning their races. In Arizona, mail-in ballots before Election Day count first, and the poll showed they would be slightly more favorable to Ms. B. Taylor Robson. On election night, in-person votes were counted, and Ms. Lake’s supporters opted for in-person voting.
As the counting went on late into the night, Ms. Lake emerged victorious while she was still behind Ms. Taylor Robson.
“When the legitimate votes are counted, we will win,” she said. Lake said at her campaign party. The Associated Press has hasn’t named a race yet.