Maricopa County Recorder's Office Working To Ease Long Early Voting Lines

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Friday, November 4, 2016 - 5:05am
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(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
Voters wait in line at Glendale to cast early ballots.

Elections officials have been worried about long lines on Election Day. This after last March when the number of polling places was cut and voters waited hours in lines. But now voters trying to avoid those Election Day lines are finding themselves once again frustrated and waiting.

The last day of early voting in Maricopa County is today, and voters are coming out to the polls in droves. 

Michelle Dail of Glendale doesn’t usually vote early but got to her polling location an hour before it opened.

“I need to work on Tuesday, and there’s probably going to be long lines so I wanted to get here and get it done early," Dail said.

She says the voting delays aren’t good for anyone.

Officials say the number of early voters is more than they’ve ever seen, and they weren’t ready to deal with it.

Maricopa County Recorder’s Office spokeswoman Elizabeth Bartholomew said Election Day is typically the time voters come out in this size.

“To vote early in-person, that’s usually not the primary method of voting voters choose to do," Bartholomew said. "We’ve always seen very low turnout in these in-person early voting locations.”

The unexpected high turnout led to hours-long lines at locations in Glendale, Gilbert, Chandler and others.

Bartholomew said there were long lines in the 2008 presidential election as well, and the Recorder's Office will send extra workers and computers to locations on Friday.

She also said all these early voters could ease crowds on Election Day. There will be 724 polling locations, and each voter will have a designated place to vote. Bartholomew said she doesn't expect any long lines.