Former Justice McGregor will lead inquiry into Maricopa County Election Day printer issues

By Sasha Hupka || The Arizona Republic

Maricopa County has asked a former Arizona Supreme Court justice to lead an independent inquiry into its Election Day printer problems, officials announced Friday.

Former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor will lead the probe, which was first promised by the county’s Board of Supervisors as it certified election results in late November.

“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,” wrote Supervisors Bill Gates and Clint Hickman in a joint statement. “Our voters deserve nothing less.”

The move to retain her for the investigation comes after about 30% of the county’s vote centers had problems with printers producing ballots too light to be read by on-site tabulators on Election Day. In Maricopa County, printers at polling sites produce ballots on demand so that voters can vote at any location in the county.

Although all ballots were counted, the printer problem and misinformation around the complications led to lines and confusion at the polls.

It also resulted in litigation from losing candidates for some of Arizona’s top offices, including Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who claimed issues with election equipment and long lines disenfranchised her voters. Her election contest was ultimately dismissed, as were lawsuits from Republican secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem and attorney general hopeful Abe Hamadeh.

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