Was Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election a waste of time? (Spoiler alert: No)

Mar 20, 2024, 12:10 PM

PHOENIX, AZ - NOVEMBER 14: Newly elected Arizona Secretary of State, Adrian Fontes gives a speech a...

The March 19, 2024, Presidential Preference Election was the first statewide election for Adrian Fontes as Arizona's secretary of state. (File Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

(File Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – The nominations were wrapped up before Arizona voters had a chance to weigh in, but that doesn’t mean the state’s 2024 Presidential Preference Election was a waste of time and resources.

“From my perspective, and that is the perspective of the election administrator, the folks who run the show, this is absolutely not a waste of time,” Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Chris and Joe Show on Tuesday afternoon, in the middle of Election Day for the PPE.

From a practical standpoint, Arizona was already three weeks into early voting when Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump clinched enough delegates for a 2020 rematch on March 12.

“We don’t always know that the decision is going to be made this far ahead of time. And by the time we get here, we’re so far into it. …. So, it absolutely makes sense,” Fontes said.

Why Presidential Preference Election had value for Arizona election officials

Another reason it was important to carry on the with PPE is that there has been a large turnover of election officials in recent years.

“Because of these ridiculous threats, … this domestic terrorism that’s happening against our elections officials, we’ve had to replace a lot of county recorders, a lot of election directors since the last presidential election,” Fontes said.

With two more elections to run this year, Tuesday provided valuable experience for the newcomers, including Fontes himself.

“It’s their first statewide election for many of them. It’s my first statewide election as secretary of state,” Fontes said. “I’ve run elections in Maricopa County, which is bigger than many states, but then I haven’t done it from this seat.

“So, this is really a great way for us to prepare for the July 30 primary and the November general election.”

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Was Arizona’s Presidential Preference Election a waste of time? (Spoiler alert: No)