(SNews) – Top elections officials in Arizona’s Maricopa County have been unable to account for a discrepancy of over 15,000 votes, newly disclosed emails have revealed.
The internal communications of Maricopa’s Board of Supervisors Chair Bill Gates and Recorder Stephen Richer were obtained via a public records request submitted by America First Legal Foundation.
The emails show the top election officials struggling to reconcile a discrepancy of almost 16,000 in outstanding ballot totals during the immediate aftermath of Election Day.
The state’s gubernatorial race was decided by a margin of just over 17,000 votes.
As Slay News has reported, Maricopa County was plagued by numerous issues with ballot machines at many of its vote centers on Election Day, resulting in delays and long lines.
Prior to a Maricopa County press conference with Gates and Richer on November 10, Richer sent an email to Elections Director Scott Jarrett, Gates, and others.
In the email, Richer warns about a significant discrepancy between the county’s estimated remaining ballot totals and the number reported by the secretary of state’s office.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs was also the Democrat nominee for governor in the November 8 election.
Hobbs refused to recuse herself from the election.
“Unable to currently reconcile SOS listing with our estimates from yesterday,” Richer wrote, showing that Maricopa County estimated having 392,000 ballots left to be counted, while the secretary of state’s website said there were 407,664 ballots left.
“So there’s a 15,000 difference somewhere,” Richer said, although the discrepancy cited was closer to 16,000.
In an email forwarded to Jarrett by the chief of staff for Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Clint Hickman, a poll worker said that at their vote center, the ballot tabulators worked 75% of the time, as approximately 400 of 1600 in-person votes were “misreads and put in slot 3.”
“Ballots were put in the tabulator several times to get accepted,” the poll worker reported.
“Ballots were flipped, put in backwards, flipped again before it might get accepted.”
The poll worker further reported that a voter who recently moved between cities within the state received a ballot for only federal elections, not state elections.
“Totally unacceptable,” the poll worker commented.
“These errors need to be resolved,” the poll worker concluded.
After listening to a flood of complaints from voters regarding issues they experienced trying to vote, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted to certify its election on November 28.
Mohave County certified its election “under duress,” after being threatened with possible felony charges by Secretary of State Hobbs’s office, according to Just the News.
Cochise County chose not to certify until a judge ordered them to, following a lawsuit against them filed by the secretary of state’s office.
According to a lawsuit filed by GOP gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake challenging the administration of the 2022 election in Maricopa County, a poll found that 58.6% of Republican voters in the county “reported having issues while trying to cast a ballot on Election Day,” compared to 15.5% of Democrat voters.
The lawsuit also alleges that 59% of Maricopa County’s 223 vote centers suffered ballot printer and tabulator failures.