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Voting by mail likely will play big role in Arizona election

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona’s top election official said Wednesday that the coronavirus outbreak was going to make voting by mail an important option for the state’s upcoming primary.

“We know that vote by mail works. It’s safe, especially now that we are in the middle of a pandemic,” Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

Primary Election Day is Aug. 4. The last day to register to vote in the primary was Monday.

Hobbs said warnings of mail-in voting fraud were “misinformation” and that the state’s process was secure.

“All of these cries of ‘foul’ are just not accurate,” she said.

Identifications are checked whether a person votes at a polling site or by mail, Hobbs said.

“The county recorders, part of their job is maintaining those voter rolls. They are working with the medical examiner’s officer and death certificates.

“If, by mistake, someone gets a ballot for someone who’s dead or no longer lives at the residence, when that ballot is returned, the identity of that voter is checked with their signature.”

Ballots, Hobbs added, are tracked from the time they leave the county recorder offices until they are returned for counting.

“They’re treated exactly the same way as ballot that you vote in person,” she said.

The secretary of state asked the Arizona Legislature in March to authorize all-mail voting for the primaries and November’s general election, citing a public health emergency.

“I think that is a nonstarter with the legislature,” Hobbs said.

“We’re continuing down the same road that we’re on right now in terms of pushing the public to vote by mail was much as possible,” she said.

Secure curbside drop boxes will be made available, as will curbside voting, Hobbs said.

“The bottom line is: know the information; be prepared; make a plan; and vote in the way that’s safest for you.”

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