Voting machine malfunctions reported in 23 polling centres in Maricopa County, Arizona

Officials in Arizona are reporting voting machine malfunctions in about a fifth of Maricopa County’s polling locations as voters wait in long lines to cast their ballots

“About 20% of the locations out there where there’s an issue with the tabulator where some of the ballots that after people have voted them, they try and run them through the tabulator and they’re not going through,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors chairman Bill Gates said in a Facebook video.

Mr Gates noted that long lines had been reported throughout Maricopa County — which is Arizona’s most populous county — as 45 of its 223 voting centres reported issues with the machines.

“If there are long lines at the location you’re at, or issues with the tabulator, if you would prefer to go to another location, you can do that,” Mr Gates said. “It doesn’t matter where you go, as long as you’re a registered voter here in Maricopa County.”

Mr Gates said that voters could still cast ballots at centres with faulty machines, but their ballots would be placed in a secured box until they can be transferred to a centre with working counters.

“This will function much like early voting functions, in that we would get your ballot back, once we’ve signature verified it, we would send it to our central tabulators,” Mr Gates said. “Ballots that are [at the central location] will already be signature-verified, so we won’t need to confirm identity but we will central tabulate them.”

He said that the "majority" of Arizona counties operate this way during elections.

The malfunctions will likely delay initial reporting of results in the county, which is home to Phoenix and its surrounding metro area as well as 2.4 million registered voters.

This isn’t the first issue disrupting Maricopa County voters this year; there have also been several instances of alleged voter intimidation reported in the county.

One voter reported being filmed and followed out of a parking lot by vigilante ballot box watchers in a Phoenix suburb, according to the Arizona secretary of state’s office.

Another individual reported seeing "camo clad people" taking photos of them and their license plate at the Maricopa County election headquarters. Police responded to two armed men in tactical gear watching a drop box in the city of Mesa.