Over the course of the last two years, as Americans continue to have heated debates about the “soul of America” and the integrity of our elections, a powder keg has been looming. We, as a nation, are as politically engaged as we’ve ever been, particularly for a midterm election, and the stake are high not only for the candidates, but for democratic system itself.
Any real trouble out there at the polling stations could give way to an avalanche of worry among an already-frantic public.
In Maricopa County, Arizona, officials are suggesting that some of the mechanical issues they’ve experienced thus far on election day won’t impact the accuracy of the vote counting.
Maricopa County officials say they have identified a solution after about 20% of their polling sites were experiencing issues with tabulation machines across the Valley, just hours into Election Day.
“Maricopa County has identified the solution for the tabulation issues at about 60 Vote Centers. County technicians have changed the printer settings, which seems to have resolved this issue. It appears some of the printers were not producing dark enough timing marks on the ballots. This solution has worked at 17 locations, and technicians deployed throughout the county are working to resolve this issue at the remaining locations,” the county said in a statement.
The specific addresses and number of locations having issues have not been confirmed. Officials say that not every machine is broken at the affected voting sites, so residents may still be able to submit their ballots at the locations of their choice.
“We’ve had a few tabulator issues at a couple locations where the tabulator isn’t immediately taking the ballot,” Richer said after being asked about two locations with reported issues – Burton Barr Library and Christ Lutheran Church. “Instead it can either be Central count tabulated here, or if that issue can be addressed there, then it can be fed into the tabulator – or voters can go to any of the other 221 voting locations.”
Social media users were expressing their concerns online, and “Maricopa County” was trending on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon as well.