A memo detailing the findings of nearly a dozen attorneys who visited voting sites in Maricopa County, Arizona, on election day describes widespread problems with tabulation equipment, long lines, and voters leaving in frustration.
According to the memo—written by attorney Mark Sonnenklar who summarized the findings of 11 roving attorneys working with the Republican National Committee’s Election Integrity program in Maricopa County—72 of the 115 vote centers the attorneys visited, 62.61 percent, experienced “material problems.”
“It seems very clear that the printer/tabulator failures on election day at 62.61 percent of the vote centers observed by 11 roving attorneys, and the resulting long lines at a majority of vote centers, led to substantial voter suppression,” Sonnenklar wrote.
“Moreover, because Republican voters significantly outnumbered Democrat voters in the county on election day, such voter suppression would necessarily impact the vote tallies for Republican candidates much more than the vote tallies for Democrat candidates,” he wrote.
Nathan Brand, the spokesman for the Republican National Committee (RNC), confirmed that Sonnenklar was a roving attorney working with the committee.
Maricopa County officials confirmed the problems with tabulation equipment on election day, later attributing the problem to printers and stating on Nov. 9 that the issue had affected 30 percent of all voting centers in the county and an estimated 17,000 ballots.
“We are still investigating. The printer settings were the same as the ones we used in the August primary & the paper was the same thickness,” county officials said in the statement.
Before the general election, the county “test-printed and test-tabulated hundreds of ballots without issue.”
Sonnenklar said that the ballot and printer problems caused voters to deposit their ballots either into “box 3,” spoil them for a re-vote, or “get frustrated and leave the vote center without voting.”
In his memo, Sonnenklar disputes claims by county officials that the county had resolved issues by 3 p.m. on election day and that the total impact was “insignificant.”
By Allan Stein