Maricopa County election missing 25k votes and documents

 January 19, 2023

Arizona's Maricopa County is reportedly missing chain-of-command documentation for 25,000 votes included in its 2022 election totals.

The number of votes is enough to impact the winner of the race between Kari Lake and Katie Hobbs.

The claims

"It was about 10:00 on election night when Maricopa County’s ballot tabulation vendor, Runbeck Election Services, received its first truckload of Election Day drop box ballots," the Federalist reported.

"While Runbeck received seven truckloads total (the last was completed about 5 a.m. the following morning), Runbeck staff thought it odd the deliveries did not come earlier throughout the day. But that wasn’t the only glitch. There were no chain-of-custody forms delivered with the ballots, a stark departure from typical procedure," it added.

The controversy

"According to Lake attorney Kurt Olsen, this is in direct violation of Arizona state statute, which requires the county recorder to maintain records that log the chain of custody for ballots 'during early voting through the completion of provisional voting tabulation,'" Conservative News Daily reported.

"Per Arizona’s Election Procedures Manual, when ballots are taken from drop boxes, they must either be counted at the local vote center or be placed in secure ballot transport containers to be taken back to the county for tabulation. When the county recorder or elections official opens the container, he or she must count the number of ballots inside and note it on a retrieval form," it added.

Hobbs won by about 17,000 votes, meaning the count of the undocumented votes could be a critical difference in the overall election results.

The court ruled against Lake's challenge, noting that documentation for the drop box ballots counted before Election Day did exist.

The legal battle may be over for Lake, but the controversy is not. The repeated voting problems in the state's most populated county have now been the source of problems for multiple election controversies impacting the nation.

In addition to Lake, the midterm election decided the state's senator and attorney general. Both positions were won by Democrats in close races in which Maricopa County played a key role.

The election may be finished, but the concerns about voter integrity are not. Lake is expected to continue her challenge though it is unclear what steps she will take next.

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