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Printer issue to blame for problems at Maricopa County polling places

"No one is being disenfranchised. None of this indicates any fraud," said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Bill Gates.

MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. — About 20% of polling places in Maricopa County were having difficulties counting votes Tuesday morning, but the problem centering around the tabulators appears to have been fixed at several sites. 

"It appears some of the printers were not producing dark enough timing marks on the ballot," officials said.

Changing the printer settings has already worked at 17 locations, and technicians deployed throughout the county are working to fix the problem at the remaining locations.

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer apologized for the inconvenience and insisted that every legal vote will be tabulated.

Officials say none of the errors are affecting people's ability to vote.

"Everyone is still being able to vote," said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Bill Gates. "No one is being disenfranchised. None of this indicates any fraud."

The problems have already begun to fuel conspiracy theories across the Internet, another setback for a county whose leadership felt it needed to hold a news conference Monday to get ahead of what officials called "false narratives."

RELATED: Answering your questions about Arizona's 2022 election

Here's what we know so far:

What happened?

Maricopa County election officials said tabulators at an estimated 40 vote centers were having issues and not accepting one out of every five ballots.

Technology engineers are reportedly working on the issues at the affected locations. The county has not outlined what the cause of the issue is.

What are the latest updates?

Every tabulator was tested with actual ballots before today, officials said.

Only 15 locations across the county have a wait time of over 30 mins as of 10:40 a.m. More than 77,000 people have voted in the county.

What should I do if my tabulator isn't working?

If a tabulator at your vote center malfunctions, officials say you can cast your vote in three different ways, including:

  1. Staying at the vote center and waiting for the tabulator to come back online
  2. Placing your ballot in a secure drop box
  3. Head to another nearby vote center

Officials said that people planning on leaving their vote center after checking in should first talk to a poll worker and check out. Otherwise, it will look like you already voted.

The issue is not stopping people from casting their vote, officials said. Voters who face a tabulation error can still deposit their ballot into a dropbox that will be collected when polls close.

Ballots put into the dropbox will be counted Wednesday morning, the county recorder's officer said.

RELATED: It's Election Day. Where to vote and how to view results in Arizona

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