About 540,000 voters turned out at polling places in Arizona’s Maricopa County on Election Day, including about 250,000 who cast their ballots in person and more than 290,000 who cast absentee and provisional ballots, according to election officials. But online publications incorrectly claim that while 540,000 voters turned out to vote, county officials counted only 248,000 ballots. All ballots have been counted.
Arizona has become fertile ground for false allegations of Cheating and electoral fraud in the 2022 election pushed by some Republicans, including Kari Lake, who lost (but has yet to concede) the gubernatorial race to Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
Now posts on social media falsely claim that election officials in Maricopa County — the state’s most populous county — are misrepresenting the results by not showing all ballots cast on Election Day Nov. 8.
“BOMBSHELL REPORT: Maricopa County announced that Election Day more 540,000 VOTERS visited one of 223 polling centers anywhere in the county DESPITE the release of the FINAL OFFICIAL RESULTS DATA claiming that only 248,070 people voted,” it reads. a post on Instagram.
True, more than 540,000 voters turned out at polling centers in Maricopa County on Election Day, according to a report from election officials.
But that total included people casting absentee ballots — which are considered early votes and not designated as votes on Election Day — and provisional ballots that day.
Responding to the misleading messages, Maricopa County officials explained in a tweet on November 28“A recent @maricopavote report noted that approximately 540,000 people visited voting centers on election day. To clarify for anyone confused, as in the tweet below, these visits to the voting center include approximately 290 000 early ballots cast on Election Day and approximately 250,000 in-person votes on Election Day.
The 540,000 figure was shared by the Maricopa County Department of Elections on Nov. 28 in a reportwho also noted that the majority of that figure included voters casting early ballots.
“While 84% of voters voted early, more than 540,000 voters waited to cast their ballots until Election Day, including a 70% increase in the number [of] voters who cast an early ballot,” read a Tweeter of the Maricopa County Department of Elections report.
The report noted that nearly 290,000 voters cast an absentee ballot”in a secure box at one of our 223 voting centers” on election day. There were 248,070 in-person ballots and 2,954 verified provisional ballots thrown on election day in the county, according to the official results.
Matthew Roberts, spokesperson for the Maricopa County Department of Electionstold us in a Dec. 1 email how the ballots are designated.
“These 290,000 are designated as advance ballots because they are requested by the voter before Election Day and cannot be tabulated on the spot because the voting equipment is not programmed to read advance ballots” , Roberts said. “These ballots are returned to the Department of Elections after the polls close and prepared for scanning, signature verification, processing and eventual tabulation.”
“The 248,000 registered voters had their vote counted at a polling station because they cast their ballot in person and inserted it into the [precinct] tab based,” he said.
In order to receive an absentee ballot in Arizona, voters must register on the active early voting list. These polls are considered as early polls, according to the Citizens Clean Elections Commission, which was established by state voters in 1998 “to enhance the integrity of Arizona state government and promote public confidence in the Arizona political process”.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of many organizations work with facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here. Facebook has no control on our editorial content.
Maricopa County. “Board of Supervisors certifies Maricopa County election results.” November 28, 2022.
Jones, Brea. “Viral video gushes baseless claim about early voting in Arizona.” FactCheck.org. November 1, 2022.
Maricopa County (@maricopacounty). “A recent report by @maricopavote noted that approximately 540,000 people visited polling centers on Election Day. To clarify for anyone confused, as in the tweet below, these visits to the voting center include approximately 290,000 early ballots cast on Election Day and approximately 250,000 in-person votes on Election Day..” Twitter. November 28, 2022.
Maricopa County Department of Elections. “FINAL OFFICIAL RESULTS General Election.” November 8, 2022.
Maricopa County Department of Elections. “Electoral process for the November general elections. November 8, 2022.
Maricopa County Department of Elections (@MaricopaVote). “While 84% of voters voted early, more than 540,000 voters waited to cast ballots until Election Day, including a 70% increase in the number of voters who cast an early ballot..” Twitter. November 28, 2022.
Patel, Komal. “Posts falsely claim to show Hobbs in the Arizona election tabulation room.” FactCheck.org. November 11, 2022
Roberts, Matthew. spokesperson, Maricopa County Department of Elections. Email FactCheck.org. December 1, 2022.
Spencer, Saranac Hale. “The ballot printer delayed Maricopa’s vote, contrary to unsubstantiated claims.” FactCheck.org. Updated November 29, 2022.
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Post expires at 3:40am on Sunday December 11th, 2022