Maricopa County tests new voting machines following election audit

Officials performed a logic and accuracy test of their brand new tabulation machines Monday morning, and the upcoming jurisdictional elections will be the first time these machines will be used in a Maricopa County election.

The voting equipment used last November was turned over to contractors for the GOP audit.

The county got the brand new tabulation machines at a cost of nearly $3 million for taxpayers, after Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs expressed concern about the security and the integrity of the machines that were in the hands of Cyber Ninjas auditors. The machines that auditors with Cyber Ninjas handled have been de-certified.

The new machines are the same model as the old machines. Logic and accuracy tests are performed before and after every election to certify the accuracy of the county's vote tabulation equipment and devices.

"We make sure we mark all of the different contests, and try it in a bunch of different ways because sometimes voters make mistakes, to make sure the machine is counting the ballots as they are marked," said Megan Gilbertson with the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Members of all three county political parties were invited on Oct. 18 to observe the tests, with the second vice chairman with the Maricopa County Republicans, Michal Joyner, among those at elections headquarters to personally observe the tests. 

"The test was perfect. Every machine was absolutely correct," aid Joyner, who told us she would comment as an individual and not on behalf of the Republican Party. "From an individual voter, I was impressed with what I saw. They ran tests from six different machines, and they all came out the same way. I don’t know how much more accurate you can get than that."

In 2020, the Maricopa County GOP was not present for the pre-election test, but was present for a similar post-election test. It was then that GOP chairwoman Jelli Ward rejected election results, and called for a recount of Maricopa County's 2.1 million ballot.

Full Coverage: Arizona Election Audit

Nearly a year after the 2020 election, the GOP-led audit confirmed President Biden's lead over Trump in Maricopa County.

Related: GOP audit review finds no proof Arizona election stolen from Trump

As for the 2021 elections, nearly two dozen school districts are asking voters to approve bond measure overrides to raise millions of dollars for school and classroom needs. A "yes" vote would increase costs for homeowners.

The last day to return mail-in ballots is Oct. 26. Election day is Nov. 2.

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