Maricopa County plans as recall deadline looms

May 30, 2013

The deadline to turn in the signatures needed to recall Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is still a few hours away. But the Board of Elections already has a plan in place in case the recall goes ahead, and it would require hundreds of man hours.

Recall supporters need to bring more than 335,000 signatures to the Maricopa County Board of Elections by 5 p.m. today. If they do not, the recall effort ends. If they do, county employees will have some long days ahead.

Elections Director Karen Osborne said all 52 permanent elections staff members will work from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day until each signature has been counted by hand.

“Most of the folks do get overtime, and they’re excited about that, but there are a lot of us that are salaried,” Osborne said, “and we do the job regardless no matter whether it takes eight hours or 14.”

Osborne said the county has 10 days to see if the needed number has been reached. If it has, 100 people have already been hired to verify that each signature is valid. Only after all these steps will a recall election be triggered.

Osborne estimates the entire process would cost taxpayers about $1.4 million.

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