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Officials vow fixes in Arizona county with voting snags | Kingman Daily Miner

PHOENIX – Officials in an Arizona county are vowing to overhaul their election procedures after a scarcity of some ballots at about two dozen voting sites throughout Tuesday’s main election led to some voters leaving without being able to cast their ballots.

Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer and Jeffrey McClure, chair of the Board of Supervisors, each blamed the issues on human error. McClure called it “a main screw-up.”

“I haven’t seen proof of a nefarious act,” McClure said at a Wednesday news convention. “I’ve seen errors made on a grand scale.”

The problems were the second within the major. When mail ballots were despatched out early in July, many were lacking metropolis races and the county – a growing suburban space south of metro-Phoenix and home to over 425,000 residents – was compelled to ship supplemental ballots to these voters.

On Tuesday, that earlier concern performed a role during in-person voting at a few of the county’s 95 polling sites. Each web site may have had as many as 10 ballot types.

A surge of people going to the polls led to some sites either working brief or out of ballots. The county tried to print new ballots however old printers have been restricted and it took a lengthy time in some instances to get new ballots to the affected polling sites.

At most, about 750 voters may have been affected, out of about 50,000 complete mail and in-person votes tallied from Tuesday’s election, however that’s “purely a guess,” Volkmer stated.

“The precise number of individuals impacted, we now have no capacity to essentially assess,” Volkmer saiud.

“Quite frankly, we underestimated,” he mentioned of the ballot shortage. “There have been extra people who showed up than we thought have been going to point out up.”

Some of those individuals were voters who had an early ballot, however due to the problems with missing races and the supplemental ballots, decided to “spoil” that ballot at the polls and request a model new one.

“We know that that was happening,” he said. “That’s not something that happens very often — its not what we count on.”

Adding to the crush was a 10% inhabitants increase because the 2020 election and more independents asking for partisan Republican ballots on Election Day.

“We simply, we did not order sufficient ballots,” Volkmer said.

“We’re all human, however for the grace of God there go I,” he added. “There is nothing sinister,” and the problems affected voters of each events.

“This was widespread, it was equal opportunity, it was merely a mistake,” Volkmer said.

There were additionally problems with a voting site within the metropolis of Maricopa. That site did not open as scheduled at 7 a.m. Tuesday, and voting rights advocates tried and didn’t get a choose to increase the hours to make up for that misplaced time for about 2,000 affected voters.

The Arizona Democracy Resource Center known as the county’s actions “anti-democratic, alarming, and unacceptable.”

Volkmer stated keys to the voting website weren’t available after the particular person set to open was unable to take action.

The state and nationwide Republican Party also slammed the county, whose government is dominated by Republicans. They stated in a joint assertion that their poll observers reported “a quantity of failures” with mail ballots and precincts operating out of ballots.

“This is a complete failure that disenfranchises Arizonans and exemplifies why Republican-led efforts for transparency at the ballot field are so necessary,” the statement said.

Republican Rep. John Fillmore, who was trailing in his reelection bid, demanded action, saying “the common voter does not have religion.”

“Why the hell was the county not ready for individuals displaying up on the polls,” Fillmore asked on the news conference. “There has to be a change in the administration, within the people running the elections.”

The Republican Party known as for county Elections Director David Frisk, who was just hired in March after an exodus of county election officers following the 2020 election, to proper away resign. Frisk was processing the approximately 8,000 remaining ballots and did not attend the news convention, which was streamed on the county web site.

No voter was turned away on the polls, and some areas remained open for greater than an hour after the conventional 7 p.m. shut time to permit those in line to cast ballots.

But “there were those people who felt they had been disenfranchised,” Volkmer said, “There have been people who stated, ‘I didn’t get to vote because I needed to go some place else.’”

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