Maricopa is one of the most populous counties in Arizona and where elections for governor and U.S. Senate are expected to be close. According to Bill Gates, the chairman of the county’s Board of Supervisors, 20% of voting locations were experiencing issues with tabulators. Despite the problems, the county retains paper ballots so that votes will be counted, he said.
BILL GATES: We did want to come out and discuss one issue that's going on out there in about 20% of the vote centers. Again, we have 223 vote centers across the county. In about 20% of those, when people will go and they try and run the ballot through this tabulator, maybe one out of every five or so of those ballots, they're not going through. But this is something we've prepared for. We have a redundancy. The ballot will not go through this tabulator. And by the way, those ballots that go through this tabulator, they go back here in the machine. If their ballots' not going through the tabulator, then we will ask them to go here at door number three and place their ballot into this secure box. Those ballots will remain secure in there all day long. And at the end of voting after 7 PM, when everything is completed, then these ballots will be taken out securely and delivered by a bipartisan team, so Republican and Democrat, down to here at the central tabulation center where they will be tabulated.
STEPHEN RICHER: And while this is obviously not how the system was designed, this is a fail-safe that functions the exact same way as early voting, which we have been going through for the past 26 days. So in early voting, a ballot comes back in its envelope. Once we've barcode scanned that and signature verified it, then we take it into our tabulation center. In much the same way, ballots that are deposited in drawer three here will be brought to our central facility. They won't need to be signature verified. They won't need to be barcode scanned. And so they will just be fed directly into the tabulators tonight.