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RESCUE MISSION: Arizona election officials DEBUNK lies spread by Donald Trump and Kari Lake

RESCUE MISSION: Arizona election officials DEBUNK lies spread by Donald Trump and Kari Lake

RESCUE MISSION: Arizona election officials debunk lies spread by Donald Trump and Kari Lake

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Donald Trump is already boosting election conspiracies in Arizona, but state officials are responding quickly, addressing disinformation that could turn voters away from the polls or cause increased backups in casting votes.

When right-wing Arizona candidates and their surrogates began to spread conspiracy theories about casting a ballot in the state, Trump was ready and waiting to jump on the bandwagon and amplify their complaints. However, officials say most of these claims are complete disinformation.

On his social media account, the former president declared that voting machines in Arizona were failing in “predominantly Republican/Conservative areas,” and suggested that perhaps this was intentional since Republicans waited until election day to cast votes. This echoes claims from gubernatorial candidate and election-denier Kari Lake, who hinted that the problem wasn’t affecting more liberal areas.

Meanwhile, Maricopa County officials are rushing to assure voters that, despite claims, they can show up and cast their votes, and their votes will be counted. While there are problems with some machines, these are tabulators — machines that count paper ballots — and election officials plan to simply transport ballots to another location and use tabulators there.

On Truth Social, Trump posted:

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“Reports are coming in from Arizona that the Voting Machines are not properly working in predominantly Republican/Conservative areas. Can this possibly be true when a vast majority of Republicans waited for today to Vote? Here we go again. The people will not stand for it!!!”

However, Vice News reports that officials have already explained that the issue is affecting about 1 in 5 polling places in the county — there’s no sign that these more heavily affect voting locations are frequented more by one party affiliation than another.

Lake made similar allegations, appearing on a video to hint that the reason she’d had no problem casting a vote was that she chose a “more liberal” voting location.

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Maricopa County, meanwhile, is addressing falsehoods and misunderstandings, making it clear that a vote can still be cast even at a location where tabulation machines are down.

See, for example, the tweet below, in which county officials correct a misconception that one polling location could not accept votes because of machine issues.

The county’s official social media also responded to a tweet by right-wing media influencer Charlie Kirk, who claimed that voters in the county were waiting over two hours to cast a vote — something that frequently happens in counties across the U.S., but that officials say is not happening here. In fact, they say, there are 223 voting locations in the county, and 209 are logging wait times under 30 minutes.

Incidentally, Maricopa County, Arizona, offers live feeds from cameras overseeing polling places, and four of the five members of the county Board of Supervisors are Republican, making it even more unlikely that the county’s leadership decided to conspire against conservative voters

Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

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Stephanie Bazzle
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

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