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Maricopa County to ‘try’ for more polls in May, will have all open in November

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County will aim to increase the number of polls for a special election in May and have hundreds open for the August and November elections.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell tweeted the news on Thursday.

Maricopa County voters will head to the polls to vote for two propositions in the May election, again in the August primaries and once more in November’s general election.

Purcell’s office has been criticized heavily in the aftermath of Arizona’s presidential preference election.

Her office only opened 60 polling stations — down from the 200 opened in 2012 — and voters waited in lines for hours across the Phoenix area.

In an interview, Purcell placed part of the blame on voters for choosing to stand in the lengthy lines, but later walked back her words and apologized. She echoed the same words Thursday.

Purcell later said one of the reasons for cutting down on polling places was money.

“As of the time we started planning, there was not sufficient monies to pay us for a full-blown election, so we were trying to downsize if we could,” she said.

Purcell’s office also said the high return of mail-in ballots led to inaccurate estimates of the number of voters who would vote in person.

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan has announced her office will look into what caused the long voting lines, while Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton called for a federal investigation to try and see what went wrong.

KTAR News’ Mike Sackley contributed to this report. 

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