Maricopa County Recorder Fontes Says $25M Needed For Ballot Tabulation System

By Bret Jaspers
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 5:06pm
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 8:02am
Adrian Fontes Maricopa County Recorder/Facebook
Adrian Fontes.

Maricopa County departments presented their budget requests to the Board of Supervisors this week.

In his budget request, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes asked for an increase of roughly $6 million for next fiscal year. Most of that is for the elections department.

“We’re expecting to have the largest election ever in two years,” Fontes said Wednesday at a meeting of the Board of Supervisors. “We have to be ready for that.”

Separately, he requested a $25 million one-time expenditure in the current fiscal year for a ballot tabulation system.

The tabulation system counts ballots and reports results. Fontes said the current one dates from 1996.

Earlier the Board of Supervisors created a working group, which includes staffers at the Recorder’s Office, to come up with recommendations to improve county elections. This comes after widespread voting problems in the August primary. The November general election saw fewer technical and staffing glitches but was not without complaints from voters.

A spokesman for Maricopa County said the Supervisors will vote on a tentative budget in May with a final vote scheduled in June.