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Phoenix-area voters face Election Day problems at polling sites

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PHOENIX — Early morning voters in metro Phoenix headed to the polls Tuesday and some had it easy while others didn’t.

The first problem of the day was reported in Chandler, where a building tabbed as a polling site was unavailable after being foreclosed on overnight.

Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes directed affected voters who could not vote at Golf Academy of America to city hall in a tweet:

“The landlord posted a sign to the tenant from whom we were borrowing space,” Fontes told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

“The tenant got locked out, so that means we got locked out.”

Golf Academy of America said on its website that it stopped enrolling new students in September after being “placed on institutional show cause by its accreditor, the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, because of the final adverse action taken by another recognized accrediting agency.”

Fontes said the polling place was eventually relocated to a suite in the same shopping center on Arizona Avenue.

Technical issues at Mesa Sunland near Greenfield Road and Southern Avenue were sending voters to Mesa Community College’s Red Mountain Campus at McKellips and Power roads.

The issues were resolved before 7:30 a.m., Fontes said.

Others at the Tempe History Museum mega voting center said they were turned away.

Of the 503 sites, only five had experienced any glitches, he said.

“We’re always going to have these one- or two-offs,” Fontes said. “This is par for the course when you’ve got over 500 locations.”

During the August primary election, 62 Maricopa County sites weren’t ready to open on time because the contractor hadn’t been completed setup.

For the general election, county staff took responsibility for setup. Printers at some sites weren’t functioning, forcing voters to wait for ballots to be printed.

Miscommunication between church workers caused another site, St. Nikolas Serbian Orthodox near Cave Creek Road and 16th Street in north Phoenix, to open late.

“One person thought the other person had the keys,” Fontes said.

Both major political parties used social media to let voters know where they could report complications they faced at the polls.

Meanwhile, a crowd at Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix moved in and out of the site without too much hassle.

Election officials were expecting a record turnout in ballots cast, the majority of them having been sent in early.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.

KTAR News 92.3 FM brings you complete election coverage all day Tuesday, including post-election coverage until 10 p.m.

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