For the 2020 Presidential Election, electronic tabulation devices were used for the first time in the predominantly Republican Maricopa County. Completed ballots were deposited into the device, but if the device detected a defect, it would reject the ballot. Arizona law requires secondary review to ensure legitimate votes are counted. Mail-in ballots that were “defective” were reviewed by a 3-person bi-partisan adjudication board and adjusted to reflect the voter’s intent when possible. In-person voters had a different safeguard. If their ballots were rejected, they could either complete and submit an entirely new ballot or leave the “defective” ballot in a separate tray to be reviewed by 2-person bi-partisan review board. However, poll workers encouraged voters with rejected ballots to “press the green button” and override the rejection without informing the voter that this would disqualify the ballot and the votes would not be counted.
On November 13, the lawsuit was dismissed after some of the witness statements were considered unreliable during an 11/12 evidentiary hearing. With the exclusion of these statements, the case, as to the President, became moot since there were not enough contested votes to overcome Joe Biden’s slim lead. “Since the close of yesterday’s hearing, the tabulation of votes statewide has rendered unnecessary a judicial ruling as to the presidential electors,” wrote Kory Langhofer, the Plaintiff’s attorney. A recount is unlikely as Arizona law requires the margin of votes to be 0.1%. As of 11/6, that margin is 0.3%.