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Lawsuits bog down Maricopa County Recorder’s office

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Election officials in Maricopa County are usually busy long before an election counting those early ballots. But this year, they had a new challenge.

Lawsuits, and a good number of them too.

Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne said lawsuits distracted and bogged down the staff.

“The story of this election were the tremendous amount of lawsuits…day after day after day after day… even on Election Day.”

Most of the suits were filed between the presidential preference election in March and the general election this month. Some lawsuits concerned the long lines that voters had previously encountered.

Osborne said the work of running an election kept getting interrupted so employees could get material together for a defense.

“And we would have to stop the people that needed to do the work in order to get the data to answer the questions,” Osborne said.

Osborne added that two of the cases are expected to continue into next year.

Outgoing Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell said the lawsuits were very time consuming.

“It was very distracting,” Purcell said. “Did we do the normal things we do? Yes, but we certainly worked a lot of overtime hours.”

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