Transparency, accuracy and accountability are paramount to Maricopa County and its Elections Department. In September, the Elections Department met with the chairs of all three county political parties to outline important election dates and areas of involvement for party members. The following is an abridged timeline of steps taken to ensure the integrity of the November General Election:
- On October 6, 2020, the Elections Department and the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office performed a logic and accuracy test on the tabulation equipment. The test date was published in the newspaper, open to the public and observed by political party representatives, city clerks, and school and health care district representatives. The law requires an errorless count before tabulators and software can be used in an election. The tests confirmed the equipment was tabulating ballots accurately, paving the way for the November General Election in which a record number of voters participated and lines at polling sites were kept to a minimum.
- On November 4, a hand count audit of election results performed by Maricopa County political parties found a 100 percent match to the vote tabulation machines. The hand count audit, which is required by law, covered a statistically significant sample of ballots. The hand count was viewable on the Elections Department’s website and the results were shared publicly.
- On November 17, then-Chairman Clint Hickman sent a letter to all Maricopa County voters addressing some of the misinformation circulating regarding elections. This letter was accompanied by a link to a fact page that provided more detail about election processes and is still available to any interested party.
- On November 18, the Elections Department and the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office performed a post-election logic and accuracy test on the equipment to ensure it was not changed or tampered with during the election. Members of all three political parties and a representative from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office observed the test.
- On November 20, the Board held a nearly three-hour public meeting to discuss concerns and questions raised by Maricopa County residents. Only after these questions were answered in a public forum did the Board certify the results of the election. This meeting was broadcast live and is still available for anyone to watch.
- On December 14, then-Chairman Clint Hickman and Elections Director Scott Jarrett appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee and devoted six hours to fully answering questions by legislators.
- On January 7, 2021 the U.S. Congress confirmed the results of the Electoral College, finalizing the November 3, 2020 General Election.
Throughout the election, political party observers were present at every Vote Center, followed ballot courier routes and observed signature verification, ballot processing and every minute of tabulation. All rooms with ballots were under 24-7 cameras.
Post-election court challenges
Many allegations about the November General Election made their way to court and Maricopa County clearly presented the facts to judges at both the local and federal level. Eleven different times complaints about election fraud, manipulation, or tampering in Maricopa County’s 2020 election have been brought against this Board. Each case was dismissed by the courts or withdrawn by the plaintiffs.
Additional information about Maricopa County elections equipment
Election equipment went through extensive testing to receive its federal and state certification. Prior to November, there were no complaints about the accuracy of the county’s tabulation equipment, which was also used in elections in March, May and August. The Elections Department also piloted the tabulation equipment in the November 2019 Madison School District election. To verify the accuracy of the equipment, the county also performed a 100 percent hand count of the Madison ballots. There was no discrepancy between the counts.