Maricopa County Supervisors Anxious, Recorder Fontes Hopeful For November Election

Published: Monday, October 22, 2018 - 4:09pm
Updated: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 8:49am
Bret Jaspers/KJZZ

Two weeks out from general election day on Nov. 6, Maricopa County Supervisor Denny Barney said he was both “optimistic” and “anxious.”

“Really I’m focused on the 4,000 people that are going to help us be successful. Are they trained? Do we have a good communications plan?” he asked at a Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday, referring to the many temporary workers the County Recorder’s Office on-boards to administer in-person voting.

Early voting and mail-in voting is now underway in the highly-anticipated midterm elections. Arizonans will elect a governor, U.S. senator, attorney general and other important statewide and local offices.

After the primary election was marred by polling places that did not open on time and confusion among voters going to new Vote Centers, (where anyone can vote regardless of where you live) supervisors had asked for both internal and external audits of election procedures.

Bill Brown with the consulting firm BerryDunn said the Recorder’s Office is working hard to make corrections, but he recommended better documentation of procedures.

He also suggested doing more brainstorming about what could go wrong.

“Conducting structured, table-top exercises with all the elections project members to go through the ‘what if’ scenarios would be very valuable,” he told the Supervisors. “We know that those conversations are happening, but it’s not being done in a structured way.”

Brown said that kind of preparation will have to wait until the next election cycle, since this one wraps up in a couple of weeks.

Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes told the Supervisors they are beefing up the number of so-called “troubleshooters” for Election Day on Nov. 6. He also said there would be more IT support and extra check-in tablets available.

“The quick deployment of stuff and staff will help our polling locations experience the shortest amount of time for return to service if we do experience any issues at any of our locations,” he said.

Need to find your polling place? Find out more info, including early voting locations and hours, at maricopa.vote.

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