“I’m here because the Constitution is not being upheld,” said Leslie Shepherd of Arizona.
As a poll worker and registered Independent, Shepherd said she saw many frustrated voters who couldn’t immediately cast their ballot on election day.
Shepherd then stood atop a cement wall waving a flag and a sign demanding the board set a new election date.
She called upon those who came to oppose the board’s canvass of the election to ensure the integrity of the Constitution and their right to vote.
Despite passionate public comments and pleas for a new election, the board voted 5-0 for approval of the election results, ushering in new Democratic leadership under Governor-elect Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s secretary of state.
Before the vote, board members criticized “misinformation” about the election while congratulating county officials for running the nation’s most secure and transparent election.
“I feel like it’s incredibly premature [to certify the election],” Shepherd told The Epoch Times. “They don’t care that they did not uphold the election process.”
Kathy of Maricopa County said she thought Maricopa County should wait to certify the election until all counties did the same.
As of Nov. 29, Cochise County still needed to certify its election. The county’s board of supervisors will review additional information on Dec. 2.
In the meantime, several Republican candidates have filed lawsuits calling into question Maricopa County’s handling of the election involving widespread election equipment failure.
“I am against the certification. They need to wait until all the counties are in,” Kathy, a Maricopa County voter, told The Epoch Times.
“Whoever heard of someone [Secretary of State Katie Hobbs] overseeing the election who was running in the election? It’s ridiculous. There ought to be a state law [against it]. It just doesn’t makes sense.”
Waiting in line, Mary, of Maricopa County, said she thinks the county’s administration of the election was “disgraceful.”
“I’m for hand counting paper ballots, showing ID—everything that is ethical and legal,” she told The Epoch Times.
For Meagan McNaughton of Maricopa County, it was “worth standing out in the cold” to voice her disapproval of the election.
“I’m here because I don’t feel the election was legitimate or fair. I want us to be able to have fair elections.”
“I don’t feel like they’ve had time to look into those to be sure everyone had a fair chance to vote. I don’t think people have confidence in the voting process here. I think people will probably stop voting or stop caring. They don’t feel like their voice matters,” McNaughton told The Epoch Times.
Adriana of the Netherlands said she drove 10 hours from Utah to be with friends who opposed the Maricopa County election canvass.
Adriana said the situation is similar to protests in her own country as farmers battle government overreach.
“It is a mess—all the government things. Our farmers are doing their best,” Adriana told The Epoch Times.
“It’s how the government, big companies, and the government decide what to do or not. They’re keeping the people out of the real truths so they can do whatever they want.”
Adriana said she expects “clarity” from elections—at the very least.
“I’m a bookkeeper. I want to be precise about things and how the flow must go with paper. In the Netherlands, we need our ID to vote.”
Of the 2.43 million registered voters in Maricopa County, more than 1.5 million cast ballots in the election. While the turnout was 64.2 percent, 84 percent voted early and 16 percent on election day.
Election officials confirmed that co-mingling of counted and uncounted ballots occurred at two of the 223 county polling locations. Through system redundancy, they ensured 100 percent counting of votes.
In a slide presentation, election co-director Scott Jarrett told board members that only registered voters could vote. The bi-partisan ballot verification process included multiple layers of redundancy to ensure ballots were accurate and recorded promptly.
Jarrett said that, to his knowledge, there is “no jurisdiction” in the nation with 100 percent counting of ballots on election day. He said this included Florida, which has a statutory two-day requirement for the total vote tally.
While election officials agreed there were technical problems in the election, they said the next time would be better.
Those voters who wished to address the five-member board numbered around 35. Most comments were critical of the board and the problems in the election that amounted to voter “disenfranchisement.”
“Everyone of you should be ashamed that Maricopa County is now the nation’s laughing stock,” said Joanne Pierce, “because Maricopa County is inept. Corruption occurred. People’s votes haven’t been counted. And thousands of voters have been disenfranchised.”
Mike Peterson told the board that as a poll worker on election day, he observed many voters who couldn’t cast their ballot.
He said either the line was too long or voters needed to check out before leaving another polling center.
“We as poll workers weren’t taught how to check out voters,” Peterson said. “It means they were still checked in at another poll center and forced to take provisional ballots, which were not being counted.”