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Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous county, had 48 more voting locations in the 2022 general election than it did in the 2020 general election.
County officials said the county increased the number of voting locations “to help reduce wait times.”
After Arizona’s Maricopa County experienced some Election Day glitches, conservative commentator Charlie Kirk suggested the complications were part of a bigger plot.
"Maricopa County intentionally reduced the polling places to create issues like this. Stay in line. Vote in person," Kirk, founder and president of the conservative group Turning Point USA tweeted on Election Day, Nov. 8.
Maricopa County intentionally reduced the polling places to create issues like this. Stay in line. Vote in person.— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 8, 2022
About a quarter of the tabulators stopped scanning ballots properly in Arizona’s most populous county. Election officials said the ink used to print out ballots was not dark enough for the tabulators to scan and read. Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chair Bill Gates said during an Election Day press conference that no voters were turned away and that county officials were working to fix the problem. And PolitiFact found that Kirk is wrong: Arizona's most populous county didn’t reduce polling places in advance of the general election — it increased the number.
"We anticipated that there might be a reversion back to some Election Day voting," Maricopa County’s Election Director Scott Jarrett said Nov. 2 at a press conference. "That’s why we expanded the number of voting locations from 175 to 223. That's a 27% increase."
Kirk did not respond to PolitiFact’s request for comment.
Maricopa County’s 2022 elections plan did not assign voters a precinct to vote. Instead, the county implemented a "vote anywhere" model. Voting centers opened in phases, starting with 10 centers on Oct. 12 and eventually 223 by Election Day.
The additional voting locations, more check-in stations at each location, and the shift to a "vote anywhere" model were a part of the county’s plan "to help reduce wait times."
Maricopa County’s plan aimed to get voters into polling stations in 30 minutes or less.
Kirk said, "Maricopa County intentionally reduced the polling places."
Maricopa County had 223 voting centers open this general election, more than it did during the August primary elections and more than it did during the 2020 general election.
The county did the opposite of what Kirk claimed — it intentionally increased the number of polling places.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
PolitiFact staff writer Tori Gantz contributed to this report.
Clarification, Nov. 11, 2022: This fact-check has been updated to clarify that 223 voting centers opened by Election Day. Maricopa County’s 2022 elections plan called for up to 225 voting centers by Election Day.
RELATED: All of our fact-checks about Arizona
Twitter, Charlie Kirk, Nov. 8, 2022
Maricopa County Elections Department, Today is Election Day: 223 Vote Centers are Open, Nov. 8, 2022
Maricopa County Elections Department, Today is Election Day: 210 Vote Centers are Open, Aug. 2, 2022
Maricopa County Elections Department, Today is Election Day: 175 Vote Centers are Open, Aug. 2, 2022
Maricopa County, VIDEO CLIP: How We're Staffed & Prepared for a Big Election Day Turnout, Nov. 2, 2022
Maricopa County Elections Department, 2022 Elections Plan, accessed Nov. 9, 2022
Twitter, Maricopa County, Oct. 17, 2022
PolitiFact, No, Maricopa vote tabulators didn’t lead to ballots with ‘no chain of custody’, Nov. 8, 2022
PolitiFact, Tucker Carlson wrong about people not being able to vote in Arizona's Maricopa County, Nov. 9, 2022
ABC15 Arizona, Maricopa County election officials speak about voting issues, Nov. 8, 2022
Twitter, Maricopa County, Nov. 8, 2022
Twitter, Charlie Kirk, Nov. 8, 2022
Votebeat, Maricopa County to double voting locations, citing COVID and misinformation, Jun. 1, 2022
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