Maricopa County official tells lawmakers election was fair, accurate

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Scott Jarrett, the director of Election Day for Maricopa County, told Arizona’s Senate Judiciary Committee Monday the election was fair, dispelling accusations about widespread voter fraud or machine errors.

Mr. Jarrett said the turnout was higher than its been in 50 years for the battleground state’s largest county, but he pushed back against accusations from pro-Trump lawyers and advocates that poll observers were kept out of the counting centers.

Observers were allowed to see the process of counting ballots, but they were kept at a 6-foot distance due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Mr. Jarrett also told the lawmakers recounts have verified that the tabulation machines were accurate in counting votes and pushed back against any allegations that using Sharpies disqualified votes.

There had been reports following Election Day of concerns from voters over the use of Sharpie pens for ballot marking at some voting centers. The voters believed the Sharpie discounted their ballot.

Sharpies were used, according to Mr. Jarrett, because the ink dries quickly and ink build-up is problematic for tabulators.

Arizona Sen. Eddie Fransworth chaired the committee hearing, saying his hope was to get to the truth about the November elections.

“This meeting is not an indictment on the county board of supervisors or any process that exists. What we want to do is get to the truth,” he said.

The hearing came on the same day that electors were set to meet across the country to cast their state’s electoral votes.

Presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden beat the president in Arizona by about 10,457 votes or .3%.

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