As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. If that’s true, then it is insane to expect Arizona to produce election results in a timely manner and free of controversy. Three months ago, Arizona’s administration of voting in the state primary election created chaos. Arizona let America down then, but many hoped that the state’s leaders would learn from that mistake and produce better results in November. No such luck: Arizona’s administration of the general election shows that its failed leadership has not learned anything.
Maricopa County, Arizona’s largest county, finds itself at the center of the voting controversy. Its voting administration is divided up between the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, the county recorder, and the secretary of state. The board handles the actual voting and counting of ballots, while the recorder’s office manages the registration and verification of voters. The secretary of state oversees voting in all Arizona counties.
On election day, 60 of Maricopa’s 223 voting locations faced problems with their voting machines. The machines would not accept votes, which may have caused some people to miss their chance to cast a ballot. Many felt that these problems disproportionately harmed Republicans because Republicans vote heavily in person on Election Day, while Democrats predominate in the use of mail-in voting.
In early returns on Election Night, the whole GOP statewide ticket started from a massive deficit, creating the illusion that these races were over. Days later, the vote counting continues, while Florida, a state with roughly three times as many people as Arizona, counted nearly all its ballots on Election Night. No matter who wins in Arizona, the losing side will likely feel cheated.
Everyone with a role in managing voting in Maricopa County contributed to this failure. […]
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