Citizens Allege Rigged Election in Maricopa County Board Meet
Speaking at a board meeting of the Maricopa Board of Elections, a number of citizens alleged irregularities. The board voted unanimously to certify the election.
The most damning testimony came from an election worker who said that he witnessed voters being turned away for a number of hour after his polling location should have been open. He said this was because of printer and tabulator issues.
A Maricopa County Elections Department report issued Monday found that about 51% of vote centers had a longest reported wait time of less than 15 minutes; 21% between 16 and 30 minutes; 13% from 31 to 45 minutes, and 8% saw wait times of up to 60 minutes. About 7% of polling locations saw wait times creep past the hour mark.
The question then becomes, is it voter dis-enfranchisement if voters are turned away, are told go to a different polling location, or are made to wait for long times?
In our view, voters should not be made to wait more than 15 minutes. Anything more than that is not acceptable and may lead to some voters having to leave because of other commitments, e.g. work and paying taxes.
Mail-in voting is convenient but not always secret
Election officials telling voters they can vote by mail instead is not acceptable. While mail in voting is convenient, it is not always secret. Mail in ballots have to be signed, and signatures have to be checked. Since signatures are checked by people, at least potentially, secrecy is compromised. It is very important that the same-day in-person voting option is preserved. It is indeed the gold standard of voting.
How would a court see the case?
The question is how a court would see this? Would a court side with a plaintiff alleging disenfranchisement that potentially changed elections if 7% of voters were made to wait for an hour or longer, while a number of others were turned away from some polling locations early in the day? Since repeating elections is burdensome, a fair and unbiased court may look at statistics and may, for each voting location in which waiting times were long, check the overall vote. If the vote in locations with excessive waits is in favor of Kari Lake, then it is obvious that excessive waits could have changed the result. If not, it is unlikely. As of the writing of this article, the Lake campaign has not yet filed a law suit challenging the election. Instead it has filed a law suit demanding information from the Maricopa Board of Elections. In particular the campaign sued Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, who has come out in opposition of Lake's candidacy. Katie Hobbs, Lake's opponents, is Secretary of State, and so is responsible for elections in Arizona state-wide.
It is possible that the elections in Maricopa were run incompetently AND that this did not change election results. It would appear clear that a lot of voters, including Republicans, are tired of hearing about rigged elections when a GOP candidate loses. Elections must be free and fair. Challenges to elections must be based in fact, backed up with hard evidence. On the other hand, there are many people who do not believe the election was fair, and that is also an issue. It's a problem if voters are made to wait or are turned away. It's perceived by many as a problem if the election recorder runs a PAC that opposes their candidate.