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Arizona elections officials expect smooth sailing for primary

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Back in March during the Arizona presidential preference primary, a wave of problems overwhelmed the voting process and the secretary of state’s office.

Spokesman Matt Roberts said as voters headed to the polls Tuesday for the state primary that those issues had been resolved and Secretary of State Michele Reagan expected a smooth evening.

The presidential preference election attracted national attention for the long lines of voters, many of whom arrived at polling sites to find that they had been misidentified by party. They were given provisional ballots.

“In some cases there was confusion on when they indicated their partisan preference. We haven’t been able to determine if that was a technological error but that’s why we always everyone to visit www.Arizona.Vote to find out their registration and polling place,” Roberts said.

About 20,000 independents went to vote March 22 although there is no independent party. The preference election is for registered voters of a participating recognized political party.

Independents can vote Tuesday for a Democrat, Republican or Green Party candidate.

Another issue was the lack of polling places. The number of sites was increased from 60 to 645.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell expected a light turnout.

“Going back to 2008 for our last contested presidential race we only had 21 percent turnout in the primary. I’m hoping for 30 percent (Tuesday) but I don’t think we’ll reach it. We have 423,000 early ballots in the house and we’ve already counted over 300,000 of those,” Purcell said.

Another major difference this time is that voters must go to their designated polling place, unlike the March election when voters could go to any polling site in Maricopa County.

Around 8 p.m. results from around the state will start being posted online.

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