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Could Issues on Election Day Have Affected Voter Turnout?

There have been numerous inquiries on the 31% of vote centers in Maricopa County that experienced printer problems on Election Day. The most crucial of them is whether the issues were significant enough to affect the results of statewide elections.

It is undeniable that the issue, which was found to be a problem with the heat fusers in the ballot on-demand printers, caused lengthy lineups and significant problems for voters. According to an analysis done by ABC15 and the elections analytics firm SplitTicket, it is unlikely that the issues had a negative impact on Maricopa County’s voter participation.

The report examined Arizona’s historical midterm turnout data since 1990. Maricopa County voters participated in the 2022 midterm elections at a rate of 64.2%. When compared to the state, which had a turnout of 62.5%, this figure is greater. This is the exception rather than the rule; it is not a given.

Only three of the last nine midterm elections saw Maricopa have a larger turnout than the state: in 1990, 2006, and 2022. The disparity between Maricopa County’s and Arizona’s overall turnout in the most recent midterm election was the biggest since at least 1990, at 1.7 points.

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About 62% of all votes cast in Arizona are cast in Maricopa County, which has a significant impact on the state’s ultimate turnout rate. Another trend appears when the turnout in Maricopa County is contrasted with the total turnout in Arizona’s 14 other counties.

The state’s largest county consistently exceeds the rest of the state in voter turnout during Presidential election years. Midterm years are the opposite of primary years. Maricopa saw higher voter turnout twice in the past 22 years: in 2006 and 2022.

Utilizing voter turnout from the most recent presidential election is another technique to examine midterm turnout. Maricopa kept more 2020 voters than the rest of the state this year, according to Lakshya Jain, a partner with SplitTicket. In 2022, the rest of Arizona experienced a greater fall in voter turnout than Maricopa, according to Jain. “

The pattern we observed in 2018, 2014, and 2010 is broken here. According to the data, Maricopa County’s turnout was 16.3 points lower in 2022 than it was in 2020. The remaining counties in Arizona lost 17.2 points. Since the last presidential election, Maricopa’s turnout has decreased more than the other counties in every other midterm since 2002.

On social media, there are rumors that hundreds of thousands of Maricopa County voters may have lost their voting rights as a result of problems on Election Day. The information quickly refutes this. Since 2002, the county’s average midterm turnout has been 57%. In presidential years, the county averages 77%.

In November, Maricopa’s turnout would have likely exceeded 76%, approaching turnout in a presidential year, had hundreds of thousands more individuals cast ballots.  The fact that turnout data cannot accurately estimate whether smaller numbers of persons did not cast a ballot due to issues on Election Day is also true.

It would be challenging to identify even a thousand voters from the turnout statistics. However, based on election day statistics, no contest—with the possible exception of the Attorney General’s race, where Democrat Kris Mayes leads Republican Abe Hamedeh by.002%—would have had a different conclusion, even when fewer voters were taken into account.

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