Just the Facts: From the Maricopa County Elections Department

This information was sent via email on April 26, 2021


There are NO watermarks on Maricopa County ballots. There are many security measures in place when creating and printing ballots, but there are no secret markings on the ballot.

DID YOU KNOW: Maricopa County tabulators can only count ballots programmed on the Election Management System inside the secured Elections Department facility.

Maricopa County only uses red pens in the ballot processing and tabulation areas, and during the hand count because it is the only ink color the ballot counting equipment cannot read. Tabulators can read black, blue, green and other shades of those ink colors.

DID YOU KNOW: Maricopa County provides instructions to voters on the best ink color to use on the ballot and in the voting instructions.

As commanded by the subpoena, Maricopa County provided the Senate with early ballot envelope images, not the actual envelopes.

DID YOU KNOW: All of the ballots counted in the 2020 November General Election have been removed from their affidavit envelopes, which makes it no longer possible to tie the ballots back to a specific voter. Arizona's Constitution entitles every voter to a secret ballot, which is why the county puts no identifying information on a voter's ballot.


In the midst of a pandemic, more than 2 million Maricopa County voters participated in the General Election, an 80.51% turnout of the nearly 2.6 million eligible voters.

The Maricopa County Elections Department has taken every precaution to ensure safety, security, and integrity of elections in the county. The County also took measures to ensure Elections procedures were transparent by inviting news media outlets to observe central count proceedings from the Election Department Lobby and by working with the political parties to ensure their appointees were available to observer our election processes. See the steps taken to ensure the integrity of the November General Election here.

As an added step, the county hired two independent firms to conduct a forensic audit in February 2021. The two independent Voting System Testing Laboratories investigated the internal workings of Maricopa County’s tabulation equipment. Maricopa County’s election equipment and software passed all tests performed by the two independent firms hired to conduct the forensic audit, according to reports by the two federally certified Voting System Testing Laboratories. Learn more about the County’s forensic audit here.


The Arizona Senate commanded the county to turn over all election equipment, ballots and other election materials though a subpoena. A court ruled that the subpoena was valid, and the county turned over nearly 2.1 million ballots, 385 Election Day tabulators, 9 central count tabulators, and over 8 terabytes of data including tabulator logs, voter records, clones of servers and images of early ballot affidavits and ballot images.

The Senate provided those election materials to a private company called Cyber Ninjas. Maricopa County is not involved in the Cyber Ninjas audit and does not have information about its operations.