Maricopa County Officials Say 'Tabulation' Issue at Polling Places Caused by Printer Settings

Officials in Maricopa County, Arizona, gave an update on technical issues experienced at polling places on November 8, saying officials identified the cause of the tabulation problem as a settings issue with on-site printers.

“[Maricopa County Elections Department] has identified the solution for the tabulation issues at about 60 Vote Centers. County technicians have changed the printer settings, which seems to have resolved this issue. It appears some of the printers were not producing dark enough timing marks on ballots. This solution has worked at 17 locations, and technicians deployed throughout the county are working to resolve this issue at the remaining locations,” Maricopa County said in a tweet thread on Tuesday evening.

Earlier in the day, Maricopa County officials said “about 20 percent” of the county’s voting locations were experiencing issues with their tabulators on Tuesday. Bill Gates, the Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, said some ballots are not going through the tabulators, but the department has a “redundancy in place.” Gates said that voters could place their ballots in a “secure box” where they would be kept until they could be tabulated later in the evening. Credit: Maricopa County via Storyful

Video transcript

BILL GATES: So I'm not going to try and get too much into the details of this. I'm not a tech guy, but I can tell you who was a printer issue, it was not an issue with the tabulator, it was a printer issue. And one of the reasons that we were trying to figure out, and having a little trouble trying to figure out what the problem was, was that all the variables from August were exactly the same this time. It's the same type of paper, same type of printer all of that. But again, we've identified the issue now and now the situation is definitely improving.

So I'm not going to try and get too much into the details of this. I'm not a tech guy, but I can tell you it was a printer issue, it was not an issue with the tabulator. It was a printer issue. And one of the reasons that we were trying to figure out, and having a little trouble trying to figure out what the problem was, was that all the variables from August were exactly the same this time. It's the same type of paper, same type of printer, all of that. But again, we've identified the issue now and now the situation is definitely improving.