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Maricopa County’s first mail-in only voting ‘overwhelming success’

(Flickr photo)

PHOENIX — The all-mail balloting that Maricopa County used in its November elections was an “overwhelming success,” according to a recent report from recorder Adrian Fontes.

The report, which analyzed the results from last year’s jurisdictional elections, found that changing all the ballots to mail-in did not affect turnout.

“The elections department views that as a success: Voters were offered a new method of voting, and they used it,” the report read.

More than 1 million ballots were mailed to voters and more than 245,000 were returned, according to the report.

Additionally, county officials offered ballot centers to allow voters to use “any voting site in the county for a replacement ballot up to 27 days before election day.

“Reducing confusion on election day by only having one manner of voting is an extremely valuable feature of all ballot by mail elections.”

This was the first time the county had ever held an entirely all-mail balloting election.

After he was elected into office in 2016, Fontes had been persistent in his push to modernize the county’s voting system and said one of his goals was to prevent long lines at the polls.

That issue plagued the 2016 presidential preference voting, along with technology problems, and eventually led to longtime recorder Helen Purcell’s ouster.

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