Projected Arizona Secretary of State Fontes wants early voters to do their part before Election Day

Nov 14, 2022, 10:30 AM

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – The projected winner in the hotly contested race for Arizona secretary of state said the best way to prevent long days of ballot counting is for early voters to actually vote early.

“Unfortunately, folks like my former opponent [Republican Mark Finchem] were telling people, ‘Don’t trust the system, bring it in on Election Day.’ It clog things up. That’s what really slowed us down this time,” Democrat Adrian Fontes said Monday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.

A record number of early ballots – about 290,000 — were dropped off on Election Day in Maricopa County. They had to be processed and signature-verified before being tabulated, per state law, a process that takes several days with an amount that large.

“Our call is to respect the process,” Fontes said. “I think we give voters the right information, the right timing and these systems are going to operate just fine.

That doesn’t mean the process or system is perfect.

“I think there are several things that need to updated and upgraded,” he said. “I particularly think we’ve got to work on getting vote centers out to some of our more rural counties.”

Fontes said he’d like to be more active helping county election systems, especially in rural areas.

“Maricopa takes up a lot of oxygen in Arizona, but we’ve got folks in small towns everywhere like Heber and Parker and Roll and Quartzsite – they need to have the services that everybody else has.

“Going into rural Arizona and taking care of those folks is going to be one of the big, big differences, I think,” Fontes said.

As of results released Sunday night, Fontes led Finchem by 123,188 votes, a gap the Republican will not be able to close with the number of ballots remaining. The Associated Press called the race Friday.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Federal Pizza, which opened in uptown Phoenix more than a decade ago, is set to expand in 2025. (Gr...

Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Federal Pizza joins tenant lineup for Paradise Valley Mall renovation

Upward’s Federal Pizza will open a second location in the upcoming Paradise Valley Mall renovation project.

1 hour ago

A man was arrested for arson after a fire broke out early Saturday at Grand Canyon National Park on...

21-year-old Arizona man arrested on arson, DUI charges at Grand Canyon National Park

A man was arrested for arson after a fire broke out at Grand Canyon National Park last week, authorities said.

10 hours ago

A one-year-old boy is in critical condition after nearly drowning in Scottsdale. (Pexels photo)...

1-year-old in serious condition after nearly drowning in Scottsdale pool

A one-year-old boy is in serious condition after he was pulled from a pool in Scottsdale on Friday, the Scottsdale Fire Department said.

11 hours ago

Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Associated Press

Tribes say their future is at stake as they push for Congress to consider Colorado River settlement

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

13 hours ago

Man indicted for organized retail theft, allegedly stole 31 times...

Serena O'Sullivan

Phoenix man accused of stealing from same retail store 31 times

A Phoenix man allegedly stole goods worth $7,000 from a single store over two years. He's been indicted for organized retail theft.

14 hours ago

The OFFSTREET Fesitval Arts & Crafts Show will return to Prescott, Ariz. for Memorial Day weekend. ...

Damon Allred

OFFSTREET Festival Arts & Crafts Show returns to Prescott for Memorial Day weekend

The OFFSTREET Festival Arts & Crafts Show is returning to Pine Ridge Marketplace in Prescott for a cultural showcase over the weekend.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.



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.

Projected Arizona Secretary of State Fontes wants early voters to do their part before Election Day