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Maricopa County releases report about primary election issues

PHOENIX – The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office released its preliminary report Friday about the issues that cropped up during the last month’s primary election.

The report starts with a statistical breakdown that included previously released information – including the fact that 62 locations were not able to check in voters when the polls opened – as well as other details about the Aug. 28 election.

That’s followed by a timeline of events and a list of 10 frequently asked questions about what went wrong and how the recorder’s office reacted.

During a press conference Thursday, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes covered much of what appears in the report in regard to changes his office is implementing leading up to the Nov. 6 general election.

(Maricopa County Recorder’s Office)

That includes using office staff rather than a contractor to set up equipment as well as increased training for poll workers about contingency plans.

The report says Fontes’ office hasn’t yet determined whether it will take legal action against Insight, the contractor hired to set up polling equipment for the primary.

Fontes has blamed Insight for failing to supply enough workers to complete the work on time, and a portion of the report covers the company’s involvement.

However, in a letter to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, the law firm representing Insight called Fontes’ public statements “inaccurate” and “defamatory.”

Insight, in its own preliminary report, which was submitted to the county Thursday, took issue with the stance of the recorder’s office.

“We believe our report speaks for itself and reflects the actual issues leading to polling site delays during last month’s primary election,” the company said in a statement Friday.

The Insight report pointed to technicians’ lack of access to polling locations and functioning equipment, connectivity problems and communication errors, among other missteps by the county.

It concluded, “To the extent technical issues and delays occurred, they were consistently the result of circumstances and decisions that were outside of Insight’s control.”

You can find the recorder’s report here and a Maricopa County Internal Audit Department report here.

“Publishing the report now gives me an opportunity to commend my team, which rose to the occasion and showed determination and commitment,” Fontes said in a press release. “As did the voters of Maricopa County, who turned out in record numbers.”

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