On Election Day, G.O.P. Raise Doubts about Arizona Elections

Republican candidates and conservative media organizations seized on studies of voting points in Arizona on Tuesday to re-up their case that the state’s elections are damaged and in want of reform, at the same time as state and county officers mentioned the complaints had been exaggerated.

“We’ve got irregularities all over the state,” Mark Finchem, who received the Republican nomination for secretary of state in Arizona, mentioned earlier than his victory was introduced.

Gateway Pundit, a conservative web site that breathlessly lined the election rumors on Tuesday, wrote that Arizona’s largest counties had been apparently “rife with serious irregularities that have been occurring all day long, sparking even more concern for election integrity.”

There is no such thing as a proof of any widespread fraud in Tuesday’s election. However the issues raised had been bolstered by plenty of issues in Pinal County, the state’s third-most populated county, positioned between Phoenix and Tucson. Greater than 63,000 ballots had been mailed with the improper native races on them, requiring new ballots to be issued. On election night time, at the very least 20 of 95 precincts in Pinal County were running low on ballots or ran out entirely.

Sophia Solis, the deputy communications director of Arizona’s secretary of state, mentioned voters may nonetheless forged a poll at these precincts utilizing voting machines which can be usually utilized by disabled voters.

“We did not hear of any widespread problems,” Ms. Solis mentioned, including that “one of the main issues that we did see yesterday was the spread of mis- and disinformation.”

Kent Volkmer, the legal professional for Pinal County, mentioned there have been extra in-person voters within the county than had been seen earlier than, together with much more impartial voters. He added that many citizens surrendered their mail-in poll so they might vote in particular person, presumably motivated by the ballot-printing points.

“We don’t think that there’s nearly as many people who were negatively impacted as what’s being related to the community,” Mr. Volkmer mentioned.

One frequent speaking level on Tuesday resurrected a false principle from 2020, often called Sharpiegate, which claimed that markers supplied by ballot staff had been bleeding via and invalidating ballots. Election officers have mentioned that machines can learn ballots marked with pens, markers and different devices, and any points will be reviewed manually.

“This is Sharpiegate 2.0,” Ben Berquam, a conservative commentator, mentioned on a livestream. Mr. Finchem shared the conspiracy principle on his Twitter account. The marketing campaign for Ron Watkins, a congressional candidate for Arizona’s Second District who got here in final place in his race on Tuesday, additionally steered that Mr. Watkins’s votes had been being artificially slashed.

Many election fraud theories targeted on the governor’s main race between Kari Lake, the Trump-endorsed former information anchor, and Karrin Taylor Robson, who was endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence. Ms. Lake was badly trailing her competitor for a lot of the night time, whipping up election fraud theories amongst her supporters. She finally took the lead.

Ms. Lake’s allies steered throughout a livestream that the outcomes had been suspicious as a result of many different Trump-aligned candidates had been successful their races. In Arizona, mail-in ballots acquired earlier than Election Day are counted first, and polling steered these would barely favor Ms. Taylor Robson. In-person votes had been counted on election night time, and Ms. Lake’s supporters most popular voting in particular person.

As counting continued late into the night time, Ms. Lake claimed victory whereas she was nonetheless trailing Ms. Taylor Robson.

“When the legal votes are counted, we’re going to win,” Ms. Lake mentioned at her election night time social gathering. The Related Press has not but known as the race.