Latest Pinal County elections director quits, cites politicized office, toxic environment
Jun 27, 2023, 4:33 PM
(Pinal County Photo)
PHOENIX — The latest Pinal County elections director quit Tuesday, saying in an email she was leaving the role due to the politicization of the department and a toxic environment.
Geraldine Roll is the third person to exit the position in less than a year in the GOP-friendly county just southeast of metro Phoenix, which has been the center of election-related problems in the state.
“It is a far reach to see how you will deliver clean elections when you bend to a faction of the Republican party,” Roll said in an email to county officials.
“Clearly, politics are the value this administration desires in a place where politics have no place: elections administration.”
Roll, who was last registered as a Republican, added that attacks against her since taking over the role at the start of the year haven’t helped.
“In my career, I have never been subject to the ridicule, disrespect, intimidation and attacks on my reputation and ethics that I have endured in these past months,” Roll said.
Pinal County’s election problems began in June 2022 when about 46,000 ballots for the primary mailed to voters in Casa Grande, Eloy, Maricopa, Mammoth and Superior, plus county portions of Apache Junction and Queen Creek were missing municipal contests.
The county blamed it on human error.
Two months later, voters dealt with ballot shortages at various polling locations on primary day, causing people to leave voting sites.
David Frisk, the county elections director at the time, was removed from the position two days after the primary after serving five months in the role.
“We screwed up,” County Attorney Kent Volkmer said following the primary gaffes. “This is nothing sinister. This is just simply a mistake.”
County Recorder Virginia Ross took over for Frisk, but the issues didn’t stop.
Pinal County attributed a discrepancy in its vote totals in the November general election to human error after recount totals revealed a 500-vote undercount.
The change didn’t alter any races, but the error resulted in legal action and another elections director change.
Ross retired in December, paving the way for Roll’s six-month stint.
“I want to thank Geri for her service during very challenging times and for the improvements that she identified and began to implement in the Elections Department,” County Manager Leo Lew said in a statement.
“She has been an impactful public servant and I wish her the best and know that she will continue to do great things in her career.”