CLAIM: Arizona’s Maricopa County announced that more than 540,000 voters visited voting centers on Election Day. It also announced that only 248,000 Election Day ballots were counted. Therefore, the county “lost” some 292,000 votes.
THE FACTS: This distorts county data. As officials in Arizona’s largest county met to certify the canvass of the 2022 election on Monday, social media users shared false claims about the county’s published Election Day turnout numbers. “IMPOSSIBLE: Maricopa County Lost 291,930 Election Day Votes?” read a headline on a popular conservative website. “BOMBSHELL REPORT: Maricopa County announced that on Election Day over 540,000 VOTERS visited one of the 223 vote anywhere centers in the county DESPITE releasing FINAL OFFICIAL RESULTS DATA claiming only 248,070 people voted…” read a tweet shared more than 8,000 times.
The posts referenced a document in which the county announced that, “On Election Day, over 540,000 voters visited a site, which is more Election Day voters than all prior General Elections since 2008.” The posts also cited a document from Maricopa County reporting its final election results, which showed 248,070 “Election Day” ballots were counted.
However, these claims misrepresent the 540,000-voter figure, according to Megan Gilbertson, a spokesperson for the county’s elections department. The figure not only includes the 248,000 people who voted in person on Election Day, but also about 290,000 voters who were issued mail-in ballots and returned them in person on Election Day, as well as nearly 3,000 people who cast provisional ballots on Election Day.
Together, the 248,000 in-person Election Day votes, the 290,000 early ballot drop-offs, and the 3,000 provisional ballots, accounted for the more than 540,000 people who visited voting centers in the county on Election Day.
— Associated Press writer Ali Swenson in New York contributed this report.