Fire Destroys Pinal County Elections Equipment

By Stina Sieg
Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 - 4:49pm
(Photo courtesy of Pinal County)
Pinal County Recorder Virginia Ross said the county will rebuild in time for the next election.

Pinal County has lost virtually all of its elections equipment to a fire. The blaze engulfed a warehouse in downtown Florence on Monday night and consumed touch-screen machines, optical scanners and other items vital to holding elections. County Recorder Virginia Ross estimates the loss at more than $1 million. She said the remains of the warehouse were still smoldering when she saw the damage several hours later.

"We had, you know, worked on a lot of reorganization, for the election this year," Ross said, "and to see the roof caved in and the equipment pretty much burned, it was pretty devastating."

She added that much of the lost equipment was about 10 years old and may no longer be available. So, she believes upgrades, instead of replacements, will be bought. Pinal County’s next election is the state primary in August, and Ross believes the county will be ready.