Two major US counties report voting machine problems
Counties that host the Arizona and New Jersey state capitals have reported problems with their voting machines, leaving crowds of mainly Republican voters frustrated on Tuesday. Maricopa County in Arizona reported a “technical issue” causing tabulating machines to lock up, while Mercer County in New Jersey reported a “system outage.” Both use Dominion devices.
“Due to a Mercer County-wide system outage, all voting machines are currently down in each district across the county,” officials said on Tuesday morning, according to the local ABC affiliate WPVI-TV. The county is reportedly “working with Dominion” to resolve the issue.
Mercer County is home to New Jersey’s capital city, Trenton. No details were available about the cause of the outage, described only as “a software issue with the voting machines.”
Election officials in Arizona’s Maricopa County said that about one in five tabulation machines at 223 voting locations were rejecting ballots, advising voters to submit ballots to be counted later. The machines were locking up because passwords were being entered too many times, according to Bill Gates, the chairman of the county Board of Supervisors.
“No one is being disenfranchised. And none of this indicates any fraud or anything of that sort. This is a technical issue,” Gates told reporters.
Arizona GOP chair Kelli Ward said it was “ridiculous” that so many polling locations were affected. The “technical issue” was disproportionately affecting Republican voters, according to official data coming out of Arizona. Maricopa numbers showed a 4:1 ratio of Republicans to Democrats who chose to vote in person on Election Day, rather than mail in their ballots.
Maricopa County is home to 62% of Arizona’s total population and the state capital, Phoenix. The county ordered new machines from Dominion in July, after Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said she would decertify the ones used in 2020 if they were used in another election, following a Republican audit. Hobbs is running for governor as a Democrat.
Tuesday’s midterm elections will see Americans voting for all 435 seats in the US House of Representatives, 35 seats in the Senate, and the governorships of 36 out of 50 US states.