Jen Fifield/Votebeat

Jen Fifield/Votebeat

Jen Fifield is a reporter for Votebeat. She previously covered Maricopa County and Phoenix for The Arizona Republic, including the high-profile review of the county’s 2020 election. Prior to that, she covered politics and government for local newspapers in Maryland and state policy for Stateline, a news service run by The Pew Charitable Trusts. She has won several regional press awards in Arizona and Maryland for her investigative, feature, politics and education reporting. Jen is a Phoenix native and graduated from Arizona State University’s Cronkite School.

Cochise County’s elections director resigns after protecting midterm ballots from Republican officials

By: - January 26, 2023

During last fall’s fights in Cochise County over hand-counting ballots and rejecting the election results, county residents say they were glad there was one person standing up to defend elections. Elections Director Lisa Marra repeatedly explained — to the supervisors, to reporters, and, finally, to a judge — that she would not break the law […]

How six controversies from 2022 can help Arizona fix its elections now

By: - January 11, 2023

Every seat in the small lobby of the election headquarters was filled. With video cameras rolling and reporters kneeling on the floor, Maricopa County Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates apologized. “We will learn from it and do better,” Gates said, suited up behind a makeshift podium on Nov. 9, the windows behind him offering a glimpse […]

Pinal County’s election director got a $25,000 bonus after reporting inaccurate results

By: - January 5, 2023

Pinal County’s outgoing elections director collected a $25,000 bonus for running a smooth election despite reporting final results with significant inaccuracies, including around 500 uncounted votes in the neck-and-neck attorney general race. Virginia Ross, the former county recorder brought in to oversee the election on a short-term contract, either did not catch the mistakes or […]

Arizona GOP candidates’ lawsuits were a grab bag of flimsy claims

By: - December 21, 2022

After hearing a hodgepodge of claims from three losing GOP candidates alleging inaccuracies in the midterm election, Arizona judges rejected many of the most far-reaching and unsubstantiated claims, but are allowing other claims to move forward. While judges in Maricopa and Mohave counties this week shot down most of gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s claims and […]

Too big of a job: Why Maricopa County’s ballot printers failed on Election Day

By: - December 9, 2022

As Maricopa County investigates what exactly caused machines to reject thousands of voters’ ballots on Election Day, a Votebeat analysis of technical evidence found that local officials may have pushed the county’s ballot printers past their limits. The thickness of the ballot paper the county used, the need to print on both sides, and the […]

County supervisors in Arizona face intense public pressure to reject election results, but most certify anyway

By: - November 29, 2022

Lydia Abril placed a Bible on the podium, adjusted the microphone, and told the elected officials in front of her that she wanted to pass along a message from God. “Justice? You high and mighty politicians don’t even know the meaning of the word,” Abril read aloud from Psalm 58. The crowd behind her raised […]

Arizona counties will be forced to certify election despite ‘political theater’

By: - November 23, 2022

Amid a GOP campaign to pressure county supervisors across Arizona not to certify their elections, two counties have postponed their vote until the eleventh hour, raising questions about what happens if they fail to meet their deadline to finalize results. There’s a simple answer, according to election attorneys in the state: If counties do not […]

146 Arizona voters’ ballots remain in limbo after Election Day printer problems

By: - November 18, 2022

After widespread printer problems in Maricopa County on Election Day, the ballots of 146 county voters are in limbo, and potentially will not be counted. The 146 ballots are from voters who checked in at an initial vote center and received a ballot but left — potentially without casting that ballot — without being checked […]

Cochise County supervisors sue elections director to get access to ballots for hand count

By: - November 15, 2022

Two Republican supervisors in Cochise County are suing the county’s elections director, asking a judge to order her to give access to midterm election ballots so the county recorder can conduct an expanded hand count audit. It’s the latest development in a months-long saga in which Supervisors Tom Crosby and Peggy Judd, along with Republican […]

What we know and don’t know about Maricopa County’s Election Day ballot debacle

By: - November 12, 2022

Maricopa County saw widespread problems tabulating ballots on Election Day on Tuesday, and answers are still emerging about what happened. All voters were still able to cast ballots, but many were rightfully concerned because they couldn’t see their ballots counted on site, and many questions remain about the problem. Here’s what Votebeat knows so far, […]

Why Arizona’s ballot count takes longer than Florida’s

By: - November 10, 2022

Why can’t Arizona be more like Florida? In the last few days, this has become a common refrain. “How come Florida w/ population of 22 million can get same day election results and Arizona w/ population of 7 million can’t?” Greta Van Susteren tweeted Thursday. Florida had posted the vast majority of election results by […]

How the 17,000 ballots cast in “door 3” will be counted after Maricopa County printer problems

By: - November 9, 2022

Roughly 17,000 Maricopa County voters on Tuesday, about 7% of ​​all in-person voters, were unable to watch machines tabulate their ballots on-site because of a widespread printing problem that caused the on-site machines to reject the ballots, according to Maricopa County officials. Officials have reassured those voters that their ballots will be counted, one way […]