Maricopa County’s top election official slams critics angered by slow ballot counting: ‘Offensive’

A senior Maricopa County elections official has blasted critics frustrated by the slow counting of ballots, which continues for days after Election Day.

Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, for example, condemned the slow process as “an embarrassment”. She admitted in an interview that she has “very little faith” in Maricopa County election officials, whom she called “incompetent,” and vowed to reform the ballot counting process if she wins the election.

On Thursday, Maricopa County Superintendent Bill Gates pushed back, suggesting that calls for expediency were “offensive.”

“Honestly, it’s insulting for Kari Lake to say that those people behind me do this slowly when they work 14 to 18 hours,” he said said. “So I really hope this is the end now. We can be patient and respect the results when they come out.”

Gates, who said the trial wouldn’t wrap up until next week, also responded to criticism from the Republican National Committee on Friday.

Along with the Arizona Republican Party, the RNC released a statement saying This election “revealed deep flaws in Maricopa County’s electoral administration”. Arizona voters “deserve better — transparency, certainty, and efficiency — and most importantly, accurate and timely reporting of election results,” the statement added, threatening legal action to ensure the election result is lawfully decided.

Rather than publicly blasting Maricopa County, Gates — himself a Republican electoral attorney — said the RNC should voice its concerns head-on.

“I would prefer if you have any concerns that you share them with us here. i am republican Three of my colleagues on the board are Republicans. Address and discuss these issues with us as opposed to “making these unsubstantiated claims,” ​​he said.

“You’re exaggerating the rhetoric here, and that’s exactly what we don’t have to do,” Gates added.

Responding to concerns about the delay in counting ballots, Gates said Arizona law is to blame and, on average, it takes between 10 and 12 days to count all ballots in Maricopa County, the second-largest electoral district in America.

Gates estimates that Maricopa County has 275,000 ballots yet to be counted.

Nevertheless, the hard-fought Senate race between Senator Mark Kelly (D) and Republican Blake Masters was called on Friday. Kelly won with more than 120,000 votes.

For the gubernatorial race, Democrat Katie Hobbs leads Lake by about 30,000 votes counted with only 83% of the votes. Maricopa County’s top election official slams critics angered by slow ballot counting: ‘Offensive’

Laura Coffey

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