A judge on Dec. 24 dismissed Kari Lake’s claim that there was no chain of custody for 300,000 mail-in ballots in Maricopa County, Arizona, during the 2022 election, yet posts on social media continue to spread the baseless claim. Every mail-in ballot in the county had a unique barcode and chain of custody documents to ensure security, election officials said.
About 540,000 voters went to polling places in Arizona’s Maricopa County on Election Day, including roughly 250,000 who voted in person and over 290,000 who dropped off mail-in and provisional ballots, according to election officials. But online posts falsely claim that while 540,000 voters went to the polls, county officials only counted 248,000 ballots. All the ballots were counted.
Close Senate races are underway in some states that have different laws regarding ballot deadlines and tabulation. But some high-profile Republicans — including former President Donald Trump — have suggested, without any evidence, that “they” are trying to “cheat.” Officials in those states say they are simply trying to count every legitimate vote.
An image shared on social media shows a woman with glasses and brown hair in an Arizona ballot tabulation room. The posts falsely identify the woman as Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs, who is the secretary of state, implying that Hobbs was illegally influencing the count. The woman pictured is an election observer, not Hobbs.
Tabulating machines at some polling locations in Maricopa County, Arizona, couldn’t process ballots during part of Election Day, though affected voters could leave their ballots in a secure box or go elsewhere to vote. But some conservatives, including former President Donald Trump, made the unfounded claim that the setback indicated an attempt to “steal” the election.
Millions of Arizona voters requested ballots to vote early in the 2022 election. Early voting results cannot be released until after the election, and ballot security measures prevent widespread voter fraud. Yet a viral video advises Republicans not to vote early, making the baseless claim that it could show Democrats how many votes they need “to fake” to win.
An audit of ballots and a forensic audit of voting equipment earlier this year found no problems in the 2020 elections in Maricopa County, Arizona. But debunked claims about voter fraud revealed by secret “watermarks” are flowing again on social media amid a Republican-led audit. County officials say no watermarks were used on the ballots.