FACT CHECK: Image Makes Misleading Claims About Election Day Voting In Maricopa County

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Instagram claims while over 500,000 voters visited polling places in Maricopa County on Election Day, only 248,000 votes were counted.

 

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A post shared by Kelly Sutton (@panachelifestyle)

Verdict: Misleading

290,000 voters dropped off ballots, while 248,000 voted in person on Election Day. There is no evidence 300,000 votes went missing.

Fact Check:

An Arizona Superior Court Judge ordered Cochise County to certify its results for the 2022 elections after the Board of Supervisors initially rejected to validate the results, according to CNN. The Arizona Secretary of State’s office is now calling for an investigation into supervisors of the country who initially refused to certify the results, Fox News reported.

The Instagram image, a Twitter screenshot, claims Maricopa County had 540,000 voters visit polls, but only 248,000 voted.

“BOMBSHELL REPORT: Maricopa County announced that on Election Day over 540,000 VOTERS visited one of the 223 vote anywhere centers in the county DESPITE releasing FINAL OFFICIAL RESULTS DATA claiming only 248,070 people voted…” reads the tweet.

The claim is misleading. While Maricopa County did count 248,000 ballots as “Election Day,” this applies to people who actually voted on Election Day. 290,000 people dropped off ballots and were counted in the early ballot count, according to The Associated Press.

Maricopa County highlights in a Nov. 27 document that “early ballot” voters stood in line for an average of three minutes. There were also 3,000 provisional ballots, which brought the overall total of ballots to around 540,000.

Maricopa County addressed the claim in a Nov. 28 tweet. (RELATED: Is Arizona’s Voting Equipment Not Certified?)

A recent @maricopavote report noted that ~540K people visited Vote Centers on Election Day. To clarify for anyone confused, like in the tweet shown below, these Vote Center visits include ~290K early ballots dropped off on Election Day and ~250K in-person election day votes,” Maricopa County tweeted.

Jack Sellers, a Republican member of the Board of Supervisors, also stated that 290,000 votes were early ballots that were dropped off on Election Day.

“Registered voters in Maricopa County had 27 days to cast a ballot in this election. Nearly a million of them did so before Election Day. Another 290,000 dropped their early ballot in a secure box at one of our 223 Vote Centers. And about 250,000 cast a ballot in-person on Election Day,” Sellers said in a statement from the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Matthew Roberts, a spokesperson for the Maricopa County Elections Department, also made the same observation in an email to Check Your Fact.

“The referenced 540K includes 248K in-person, 290K early ballots dropped off at Vote Centers on Election Day,” Roberts said. “The 290,000 are designated as early ballots because they are requested by the voter before Election Day and cannot be tabulated at the location because the voting equipment isn’t programed to read early ballots. These ballots are returned to the Elections Department after the polls close and prepared for scanning, signature verification, processing and eventual tabulation.”

Claims of election misconduct in Arizona have been widespread since the 2022 midterm elections. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim suggesting voting equipment in the state was not certified, thusly disqualifying the results of the election.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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