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Early voters in Arizona head to polls in droves to ensure vote gets counted

(KTAR News/ Griselda Zetino)

PHOENIX — With seven days before Election Day, early voters in Arizona are heading to the polls in droves.

More than 1.6 million had cast ballots in person or by mail-in ballot through Saturday, according to early voting tracking by the Phoenix-based research firm Data Orbital.

In Mesa, a steady flow of voters showed up Monday at the vote center near Greenfield Road and Main Street. It’s one of several dozen already open for in-person voting or to drop off mail-in ballots.

The vast majority of voters who spoke with KTAR News 92.3 FM outside the Mesa vote center said they were voting for President Donald Trump.

Many also said they chose to vote in person, some for the first time, to ensure their vote gets counted. Meanwhile, the state’s top elections official, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, has stressed that the state’s voting system is safe and secure.

Marie Coombs chose to drop off her early ballot at the voting center in Mesa because she doesn’t think it’s safe to mail it in. She cast her ballot for Trump.

“It’s the safest way to avoid anyone tampering or any kind of fraud,” Coombs said.

Josh Vornsand, who also voted for Trump, said he hadn’t thought about voter fraud until he heard the president raise concerns.

“Now that Trump has kind of magnified it, I guess there is a possibility for it happening,” Vornsand said. “Hopefully it doesn’t affect the outcome of the election.”

Vornsnad voted early for the first time this election. Besides wanting to avoid long lines on Election Day, he said he wanted to ensure his vote counted. Other first-time early voters expressed similar concerns.

Meanwhile, Jenny Bogden usually votes by mail but casted her ballot in person this election, saying she doesn’t want to “take any chances.” She voted for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

“I want to make sure that my vote really counts, because who knows what’s going to happen with this mess of voter suppression and all that,” Bogden said.

Hobbs has repeatedly said there’s no evidence that voter fraud will occur in this election. She has also noted Arizona has experience with mail-in voting as well, having used the process since 1992.

“There’s so much misinformation out there that just is not true,” Hobbs recently told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos & Chad Show. “We have been working to really push back on that and really counter that message.”

Voters are recommended to mail back their early ballots by Tuesday to ensure they are counted in next week’s election. They can also drop them off at county election offices or at a vote center before polls close at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3.

By Election Day, 175 voting centers will be open throughout Maricopa County.

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