ARIZONA NEWS

After disastrous primary, Arizona county overhauls elections

Oct 19, 2022, 4:00 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — A rural Arizona county where a disastrous primary season was one of the year’s biggest U.S. election debacles has gotten on track for successful midterm voting, an expert said Wednesday.

“You are on the right course now,” Brad Nelson, the former longtime elections chief in neighboring Pima County, told Pinal County’s Board of Supervisors, saying that many of his recommendations had already been embraced, including adding more ways for poll workers to get help with problems. Nelson noted that the elections manual had been overhauled “and looks absolutely perfect.”

Nelson, an outside consultant hired by the county to review problems and overhaul election procedures, said faulty communications was the biggest issue he found in Pinal County’s Aug. 2 primary, including providing poll workers with just one telephone number to call for help, leading to a backup in requests for assistance. By about 6 a.m. on primary day, he said, poll workers had already made 20 calls with problems to the same number.

Pinal County’s primary drew national attention when one-fourth of the county’s polling stations ran out of ballots, sparking widespread complaints from candidates and voters. Earlier in July, erroneous ballots that left off municipal races were mailed to 63,000 voters.

Although local officials blamed ineptitude, the problems fueled conspiracy theories with some, including Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, suggesting something more sinister. Although Pinal County is overwhelmingly Republican, the new elections chief, Virginia Ross, has said both Democrats and Republicans were affected by ballot shortages after her predecessor underestimated how many people would show up to vote in person.

Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer told the board Wednesday that more than 342,000 ballots were being prepared for the Nov. 8 midterm elections, or 110% of the county’s registered voters. The county has a population of about 440,000 people.

Nelson wrote a report based on his review, and the five-member board unanimously agreed to publish it by Thursday on the county clerk’s web page, along with additional comments by Ross, who replaced former elections chief David Frisk after he was fired. Nelson said Frisk failed to answer messages he left via telephone and email.

Ross, who resigned her post as elected county recorder to take the new appointment, said her department is sufficiently staffed for the midterms, with training of 11 poll workers well underway and county employees being recruited as backups.

Ross was first elected as recorder in 2012 and oversaw elections until 2017 when it became its own department.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

File photo of a Phoenix police crime scene. Police responding to a shooting in Ahwatukee on Tuesday...

KTAR.com

Man killed, teen seriously injured in late-night shooting in Phoenix’s Ahwatukee area

A man was killed and a teenage boy was seriously wounded in a late-night shooting Tuesday in Phoenix’s Ahwatukee neighborhood.

13 minutes ago

Auto thefts in Arizona fell from 2022 to 2023, new report found...

KTAR.com

Auto thefts in Arizona fell 6% last year due to various factors, expert says

Auto thefts in Arizona fell last year by 6% compared to the year before, according to a new report from The National Insurance Crime Bureau.

29 minutes ago

avondale-sand-volleyball...

Nick Borgia

City of Avondale announces grand opening of sand volleyball complex

The City of Avondale announced the grand opening of a new sand volleyball complex. It is located at The BLVD.

3 hours ago

Park Algodon: $250M development breaks ground in Phoenix...

KTAR.com

Construction starts on Park Algodon, a Phoenix industrial and mixed-use project

Developers broke ground on a $250 million industrial and mixed-use project called Park Algodon on May 22, 2024, officials said.

3 hours ago

Clothes, shoes, toys for Arizona boys in foster care needed, Foster Alliance in Phoenix says...

Serena O'Sullivan

Foster Alliance needs clothes, shoes and toys for Arizona boys

Foster Alliance, Arizona's top provider of essential needs for kids in foster care, is urging Valley residents to donate kids' clothes.

3 hours ago

(KTAR News Photo)...

Mike Broomhead

Amazing Arizonans: Pat McMahon discusses media career, how he ended up in Phoenix

Pat McMahon talks about the glory days of the Wallace and Ladmo show and his radio, television and music career on this edition of Amazing Arizonans.

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

After disastrous primary, Arizona county overhauls elections