Phoenix - The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to intervene in the Ward v. Jackson litigation to facilitate the court’s process and defend the integrity and accuracy of the county election. Supervisor Steve Gallardo, District 5, had to recuse himself because he is named in the lawsuit.
As part of evidentiary discovery on Tuesday, the Elections Department undertook an examination of 100 randomly selected ballots and 100 signatures on mail-in ballot affidavit envelopes per Judge Warner’s order. Democrats and Republicans took part in the process. The ballots were a small sample from a group of 27,000 that the tabulation equipment could not read because:
- Almost 10,000 ballots were from military or overseas voters who returned their ballots via a secure portal;
- The ballots were in braille or large print;
- The ballots arrived damaged.
State law requires a tabulator count all ballots. Therefore, when the equipment is unable to read a ballot, Arizona law requires that it must be duplicated by two members of different parties under supervision of an inspector and Election Department staff. This human process is never perfect, but it is required by law.
The Board of Supervisors directed the County Attorney to offer to expand the duplicated ballot review by up to 2,500 ballots, or however many can be reviewed by the time the hearing in Ward v. Jackson begins Thursday. The Board did so in order to provide further clarity and confidence in the election results. The Board of Supervisors has been clear throughout this election that officials administered this election with integrity and transparency. The motion by the Board today is another step to ensure confidence in the election results by further opening up the elections process for public inspection.