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Arizona secretary of state-elect sees teamwork as key to smooth elections

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PHOENIX – The secretary of state-elect for Arizona said a better relationship between the office and county recorders may be able to prevent a continuation of the woes voters have faced in recent elections.

Hobbs she planned “to work collaboratively with the county recorders,” she told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Thursday, “making sure they’ve got the resources on the ground.”

The former state senator pointed to the fiasco of the 2016 elections, when then-Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell reduced the number of sites because of budget concerns. Voters waited in long lines for hours during the presidential preference.

The polling place closures were “all signed off by the secretary of state,” Hobbs, a Democrat, said. “Somebody who was really watching that would not have just rubber-stamped the plan, but made sure there was a better plan in place.”

Statewide elections held in November were not a walk in the park, either.

Purcell’s successor, Democrat Adrian Fontes, faced a rough Election Day when voters began complaining early that polling sites were closed and technical issues were rampant.

The election results were certified this week.

“We’re going to have to make sure we’re fighting for those resources so that our elections are well-funded,” Hobbs said.

“You can be assured (the state legislative agenda) will be focused on expanding access to voting in whatever we can.”

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