Former Arizona Supreme Court chief to lead ballot printer investigation

FILE - Affidavit printers are lined up at the Maricopa County Elections Department in Phoenix,...
FILE - Affidavit printers are lined up at the Maricopa County Elections Department in Phoenix, Sept. 8, 2022.(Ross D. Franklin | AP)
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 12:01 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — The print quality of Election Day ballots were an issue in November, but the problem was quickly resolved the same day. However, that doesn’t mean the process can’t improve, says Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates and Vice Chairman Clint Hickman.

In a joint statement sent late Friday morning, the pair announced an investigation into the printer issues that affected voters on Election Day. “This Board of Supervisors has always been committed to continuous improvement. When things don’t work, we find out why,” according to the statement. Gates and Hickman got former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor to agree to lead the investigation. She previously investigated issues with locks on state prison cell doors in 2019.

“Justice McGregor will hire a team of independent experts to find out why the printers that read ballots well in the August Primary had trouble reading some ballots while using the same settings in the November General,” the statement continues. “Our voters deserve nothing less. Maricopa County appreciates Justice McGregor’s willingness to serve in this role. We look forward to her findings.”

During Election Day, poll workers learned some of the printers were not producing dark enough ink to be read by the tabulators. “This was a surprise to everyone,” Gates said at the time. The solution was discovered around 2 p.m., and technicians reportedly fixed all the machines by the time the polls closed.