Headline RoundupNovember 8th, 2022

Vote-Counting Issues in Arizona Frustrate Voters, Fuel Fraud Theories

AllSides Summary

Vote-counting problems in Maricopa County, Arizona frustrated voters at the polls Tuesday and fueled unfounded speculation that fraud was afoot.

Key Quotes: "Everything's going great out there," but after some people vote, "they try to run [their ballot] through the tabulator, and they're not going through" at roughly 20% of the county's polling locations, a county official said Tuesday. A volunteer Republican poll observer in a rural county town told Reuters that the issues represent "the total disenfranchisement of rural voters."

For Context: The county is the U.S.'s second-largest voting jurisdiction, and represents over 60% of Arizona voters. President Joe Biden beat former President Donald Trump, 50% to 48%, there in 2020. After Trump alleged voter fraud, those results were the subject of a Republican-led audit, which confirmed Biden's victory. The county will likely be crucial in deciding the winners of Arizona's 2022 gubernatorial race and Senate race, the latter of which could be pivotal in determining the Senate majority.

How the Media Covered It: Right-rated sources covered the story more, with many highlighting voices who criticized the situation, such as Trump, who said it "looks like a complete voting integrity DISASTER," and Charlie Kirk, who called it "manufactured chaos" and encouraged Republican voters to "stay in line." Some left- and center-rated media, such as NPR and Reuters (Center bias), said "Republicans seized" on the issues and sought to highlight the lack of evidence for voter fraud speculation. 

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