(TeaParty.org Exclusive) – One of the strange things that happened during the midterm elections this year in Arizona was that the GOP voter turnout increased while Democratic turnout decreased from 2018 in Maricopa County, but despite that the top-of-the-ticket Republican candidates ended up losing their races. How in the world does this make any sense? It doesn’t.
Randy DeSoto writing for The Western Journal reports, the county, which encompasses the Phoenix metropolitan area, also includes 60 percent of the registered voters in the entire state. In this specific area, Republicans far outnumber the Democrats by a total of 166,000 people. Again, how did these top candidates for the GOP lose?
“Maricopa County had a 64.2 percent voter participation rate in the midterms, which was about 8 percent above the average 56.3 percent going back to the 1970s, according to the county’s Election Day director, Scott Jarrett, who provided an election summary at the county Board of Supervisors meeting Monday,” DeSoto wrote. “However, that was not quite as high as the 2018 midterm participation rate of 64.5 percent.”
During the election in November, 75.4 percent of Republicans showed up at the polls and cast a ballot, according to information from Jarrett. Back in 2018, the GOP turnout was only 74.2 percent. Democrats on the other hand had a voter turnout of 68.5 percent this time around compared to 69.9 percent in 2018.
“Despite Democratic turnout being down from 2018, the party’s gubernatorial candidate and Arizona’s secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, won her race against Republican Kari Lake. Additionally, Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly defeated GOP challenger Blake Masters. Democratic attorney general candidate Kris Mayes held a lead of about 500 votes over Republican Abe Hamadeh, though that race is heading to a recount,” DeSoto said.
“The Kelly victory can be explained. He is the incumbent, an astronaut, a Navy veteran and the husband of former Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, who suffered a grievous and lasting injury during a 2011 assassination attempt,” he continued in the article.
It seems there’s still a significant amount of goodwill toward Kelly among both independents and Democrats, despite the fact he voted along with the extremely unpopular President Joe Biden a shocking 94.5 percent of the time.
Biden’s approval rating in Arizona was in the toilet last month at a low of 36 percent, however Kelly held a 49 percent to 42 percent lead in the same Civiqs poll. Exit polling revealed Kelly winning independents 55 percent to 39 percent, which is a plus 16 margin. Impressive.
DeSoto then wrote, “The RealClear Politics polling average had the race pretty much at a dead heat going into Election Day. Kelly ended up winning the contest 51.4 percent to Masters’ 46.5 percent, a difference of about 125,000 votes. Less understandable is the Hobbs win over Lake for the open governor’s seat. The Republican candidate held the lead in nearly every poll in the month-and-a-half period leading into the election and had a 3.5 percent advantage in the RCP average, yet Hobbs won by about 17,000 votes.”
Hobbs was popular with independents, which seemed to contribute positively to her campaign efforts.
One explanation for why Lake came up short in the total vote tally, and what her campaign has pointed to in the days since the election, is all of the chaos that happened in Maricopa County on Election Day, when the ballot tabulator machines and ballot printers were having all sorts of issues at 71 different polling places according to information from the county, though the Lake campaign says it was actually 114 polling sites or a total of 53 percent of the voting sites.
“Hours-long lines developed at multiple sites experiencing these problems, leading the Lake campaign to argue that since Republicans voted 3-to-1 over Democrats on Election Day, what happened was large-scale vote suppression of her supporters,” the Western Journal reported. “Here is one example I witnessed firsthand in the ruby-red community of Anthem on the north side of Phoenix, where the line was about two hours both at midday and again at 6 p.m.”
Here is the problem w/ what happened in Maricopa County on Election Day. This is Anthem, north of Phoenix at about 1:15 pm. Ruby red district of about 30K people. Only one polling location. Ballot tabulators not working in the morning. 2 hr wait to vote midday and still at 6 pm. pic.twitter.com/CY35yQWwq5
— Randy DeSoto (@RandyDeSoto) November 14, 2022
Mike Peterson, a poll worker for the county, spoke to the Board of Supervisors on Monday, stating that hundreds of people at the voting location where he worked in Paradise Valley were essentially disenfranchised. He stated that 675 people were waiting around in line and his location shut down at 7 p.m. These votes could have stayed in line and cast a ballot, but many of them simply gave up.
“Of those 675, do you know how many came in? One hundred and fifty. It means that you have personally disenfranchised voters. They have [come], they have seen and they have given up because they know what is going on,” he remarked.
More than 500 individuals who really wanted to cast a ballot in the election did not, and that was only the voters who showed up at the polling location near the end of the day at one site.
Maricopa Poll Worker CONFIRMS: Poll Workers WERE NOT trained properly, voters were 100% disenfranchised.
“Every single one of us who’s a poll worker right now is making fun of you” pic.twitter.com/HjXrWM50Bx
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) November 28, 2022
This number does not include all of the individuals who might have been discouraged to vote by long lines during other parts of the day at other locations.
“Given the approximately 17,000 votes separating Lake and Hobbs, it would take a net of about 240 Lake supporters being prevented or discouraged from voting in each of the 70 ill-functioning polling stations to make the difference. If the true number of polling locations experiencing issues was 114, that would translate to 149 voters per location,” the Western Journal continued. “The county claims only 62 of 223 polling locations had wait times of over 30 minutes, with only 16 having hour-plus wait times.”
A letter from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office to the Maricopa board last week drew attention to other problems that came from the ballot printer and the tabulation issues on Election Day.
“The Elections Integrity Unit (‘Unit’) of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (‘AGO’) has received hundreds of complaints since Election Day pertaining to issues related to the administration of the 2022 General Election in Maricopa County,” Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Wright stated.
“These complaints go beyond pure speculation, but include first-hand witness accounts that raise concerns regarding Maricopa’s lawful compliance with Arizona election law,” she continued.
Wright then pointed out that the county had admitted to commingling ballots at a few locations with those that weren’t read by the tabulators. Lake’s campaign has been calling for a total redo of the election in the county, stating Wednesday that she will be seeking that outcome in her court case.
Lake then made the argument that the election should be run by competent and unbiased individuals. It seems ridiculous to me that Arizona allowed Hobbs, who was running for governor, to remain in office as the attorney general to oversee the election. This is a clear conflict of interests. She should have been forced to recuse herself.
“We definitely can’t have Maricopa County and these same clowns who ran this circus of an election run the next one,” she commented. “We’ll see what the court says.”
Adding to the mess is the fact that Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, along with County Recorder Stephen Richer, established a political action committee whose mission is to defeat MAGA Republicans such as Lake.
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) November 30, 2022
Not surprisingly, Gates defended the overall integrity of the midterm election during Monday’s meeting.
“This was not a perfect election, but it was safe and secure. The votes have been counted accurately,” he proclaimed.
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