Maricopa County, the most populous county in Arizona, has tweeted to debunk a prominent Republican personality’s false Election Day claim about voting wait times.
This comes after Charlie Kirk, the founder and president of right-wing group Turning Point USA, tweeted Tuesday to his 1.8 million followers: “2 hour wait minimum at most polling places in Maricopa. Democrats running elections here knew this would happen. Traffic jam by design. DONT LET THEM DO 2020 AGAIN. WAIT IN LINE AND VOTE.”
The tweet was thoroughly inaccurate.
Maricopa County’s elections aren’t run by Democrats: its elections chief, Recorder Stephen Richer, and its Board of Supervisors chairman, Bill Gates, are both Republicans. And the county’s online wait-times tracker showed that dozens of voting locations there had waits of under five minutes, including many with no waits at all. County voters are permitted to cast their ballots at whatever location they choose.
Maricopa County said in its tweet in response to Kirk’s tweet: “No part of the tweet below is accurate. The vast majority of Vote Centers are seeing wait times under 30 minutes, and whether by tabulator or secure ballot box, all voters are being served.”
Maricopa County did experience Election Day technical problems with tabulation devices at about 20% of its voting locations, according to county officials on Tuesday morning. The problem prompted officials to ask affected voters to place their ballot in a secure box for counting, wait for the tabulator problems to be resolved, or go vote at another county location. (Richer issued an afternoon statement saying the Board of Supervisors had identified the problem and had “begun fixing affected voting locations.” He promised that “every legal vote will be tabulated.”)
But there was no indication of intentional malfeasance.