Caroline Wren — a senior adviser to Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake — believes Gov. Doug Ducey should call a special session of the legislature to pass election reform legislation, given the mass alleged voter disenfranchisement that took place during the midterm elections in Maricopa County.
Seventy of the county’s 223 polling locations experienced ballot tabulator problems on Election Day, with multiple locations reporting two-hour-long lines and more.
“War Room” podcast host Steve Bannon asked Wren to comment on the “fiasco” in Maricopa County (which includes the Phoenix metropolitan area).
“The disenfranchisement of Republican voters is very alarming,” Wren said.
“People shouldn’t have to go on this half-day odyssey to be able to vote,” she continued. “Can you imagine if this was reversed and Election Day voters favored Democrats and the machines failed in Detroit and Philadelphia and Brooklyn?”
“It would be the top news story everywhere in the country,” Wren said.
Instead, she said the media slant concerning the tabulator machines malfunctioning in Maricopa County is that lines are normal on Election Day.
“They’re not normal when you have mechanics fail,” Wren argued.
“We told Maricopa, we told these others [counties], to expect a huge, huge number of Election Day voters. That happened. They were completely unprepared,” she said.
“You had three-hour lines. I mean if you arrived at 7 a.m. and the machines were down, and there’s a two-hour line, but you have to take your kids to school at 8:15, you can’t spend all day voting,’ she added.
Wren went on to point out that the two top people overseeing Maricopa County’s election — County Recorder Stephen Richer and Maricopa County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bill Gates — launched a political action committee last year to support state and local government candidates who “acknowledge the validity of the 2020 election.”
News: @stephen_richer, the Maricopa County recorder, is launching a PAC to support Rs running for non-federal AZ offices who “acknowledge the validity of the 2020 election and condemn the events of Jan. 6, 2021 as a terrible result of the lies told about the November election.”
— Meg Cunningham (@Meg_Cunn) November 17, 2021
Lake has expressed doubt about the 2020 presidential election result in Arizona.
“That’s who we’re relying on for information. That’s who we’re relying on for the truth, relying on to run our election systems. And our opponent by the way is the secretary of state who refused to recuse herself,” Wren said.
Bannon asked Wren whether Ducey should call a special session to address election issues in light of the voter disenfranchisement.
“You can’t take two-and-a-half and three-hour [lines] with working people. No one can do it,” Bannon said.
I was outside a polling location in SE Chandler for 3 hours Tues morning as a campaign supporter; we were told that polling locations in N Gilbert were down, so those voters were being sent to ours…wonder how many never voted at all, on leaving Gilbert?https://t.co/bNmK9rkTPa
— Jennifer Alvey (@Jennife97135834) November 14, 2022
He further argued the 17,000 voters who the county said placed their ballot in “Box 3” to be counted in downtown Phoenix later when polling place tabulators were not working is a “bogus number.”
“The 17,000 has got to be 50,000, 60,000 or 70,000, given they were down and sometimes they were down all the way into the afternoon,” Bannon said.
“Should [Ducey] call an emergency session and how can you possibly certify this election?” Bannon asked.
Wren responded, “He should call an emergency session and pass election reform [legislation]. We had the house, the senate and the governor’s office for the last two years. They should have passed election reform leading into this.”
“This is a national embarrassment. All eyes are on Arizona, Maricopa County once again, and they’re failing,” she added.
Wren declined to say whether the election should be certified, saying that will be up to others.
The polling location in Anthem, Arizona — a Republican-dominated community of about 30,000 people north of Phoenix — was one of the locations in Maricopa County that experienced ballot tabulator problems on Election Day.
There was an approximately two-hour wait to cast a ballot at about 1:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., those standing in line told The Western Journal.
Here is the problem w/ what happened in Maricopa County on Election Day. This is Anthem, north of Phoenix at about 1:15 pm. Ruby red district of about 30K people. Only one polling location. Ballot tabulators not working in the morning. 2 hr wait to vote midday and still at 6 pm. pic.twitter.com/CY35yQWwq5
— Randy DeSoto (@RandyDeSoto) November 14, 2022
Lucas McLuhan, who works for the Journal, waited for nearly two hours to vote in the afternoon that day, and it took him five times to get a tabulator to accept his ballot.
The lines in Maricopa are insane this morning. This is one poll in Scottsdale at 9am. Keep pushing. Overwhelm the system. pic.twitter.com/XybEL91lP3
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 8, 2022
Richer and Gates emphasized on Election Day, despite the problems, voters could still cast a ballot and have it counted.
They did not address the long lines people experienced to obtain a ballot to cast in the first place.
— Maricopa County Elections Department (@MaricopaVote) November 8, 2022
Despite all the Election Day problems, Lake was able to close Democrat Secretary of State’s Katie Hobbs lead from double-digits (about 183,000 votes), based in her advantage in the early voting results, to less than a percent (about 12,000 votes) by Wednesday as Election Day totals continued to come in.
However, the GOP would likely argue if all of Lake’s voters were able to get into the polls, she would have overtaken Hobbs, who still held a lead on Monday evening.
Most of the ballots being counted since late last week have been the mail-in ballots voters dropped off on Election Day at polling places.
In a statement released on Sunday, the Arizona Republican Party said, “It was no secret that Republicans intended to vote on Election Day.”
“While Democrats are more likely to vote by mail and thus were disproportionately less likely to be harmed by problems with tabulators and printers that arose on Election Day.”
Arizona GOP chairwoman Kelli Ward stated, “The Republican Party of Arizona holds Steven Richer, Bill Gates, the Maricopa Elections Department, and the other Supervisors absolutely responsible for making Arizona the laughingstock of America when it comes to fair, efficiently, and transparently running our elections.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.