Election scam sparks questions over law

October 19, 2012

The Maricopa County Elections Department has sent out over a million early ballots. From Phoenix, Jude Joffe-Block reports some questions are arising over how those ballots can be turned in.

JUDE JOFFE-BLOCK: This week County Recorder Helen Purcell announced people posing as county employees were knocking on doors asking to collect voters' early ballots. She warned such behavior was a felony. That sparked some confusion about the law. It turns out misrepresenting oneself as an elections employee is a crime, as is collecting ballots and never mailing them in. Simply collecting a ballot from someone else and immediately turning it in-- as many campaigns do--is not. Matt Roberts is a spokesman for the Secretary of State's office.

MATT ROBERTS: Parties have historically been a place where voters can drop off their early ballot or have their folks go and bring them in. That is not against the law.

JOFFE-BLOCK: But he says, these are live ballots, and the Secretary of State recommends using the mail.

MATT ROBERTS: We feel very strongly that in this day in age, where you can easily pop your ballot in the mailbox, they should be able to do so.

JOFFE-BLOCK: Early ballots must be received by the end of Election Day. The recorder's office recommends putting them in  the mail several days before Nov. 6 to ensure they arrive in time.

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