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US election official says Arizona vote not rigged – 11/09/2022

Voting was credible in Arizona, the epicenter of tensions in the US midterm elections over unsubstantiated allegations of fraud and some technical glitches, officials said on Wednesday.

Reports of voter fraud on social media have been amplified by extremists and former Republican President Donald Trump (2017-2021) after Arizona’s most populous Maricopa County reported a quarter of its 223 active machines had technical problems.

“There is no basis in saying that [a votação] There was fraud or criminal activity,” said Bill Gates, director of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which has become a Democratic stronghold for President Joe Biden in 2020.

On Tuesday, Americans went to the polls to elect governors, senators and representatives, among other regional positions.

In the weeks leading up to the election, tensions rose in Arizona, where Biden defeated Trump by about 10,000 votes in 2020.

For the past two years, the former president and his supporters have used this narrow margin to attack the electoral system.

Despite several audits confirming the authenticity of the result, three of the leading Republican candidates in the midterm elections, including presidential candidate Gary Lake of Arizona, insist the process should be called into question, ignoring the Democratic victory.

With nearly 70% of the vote counted, early projections on Wednesday put Lake in the path of Democrat Katie Hobbs.

On Tuesday, Maricopa election officials announced that a technical glitch with about a quarter of the machines had been fixed and that the problem had not compromised the results.

Gates again apologized for the incident, which caused some rows, and explained that 17,000 votes were affected, but promised that every vote would be counted.

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“Those who went to the polls yesterday with valid ID and voted, that vote was or will be counted,” he told CNN.

The U.S. electoral system allows voting by mail or at the polls until the day before the election, or in person during the law.

As of Wednesday morning, a total of 1.2 million votes had been cast in Maricopa, with 400,000 more to be counted, expected by Friday.

“We understand that the people of Arizona are very anxious to hear the results, but again, according to state law, it will take some time. Today, again, we ask for your patience,” Gates concluded.

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© Agence France-Presse