By Corinne Murdock |
During a special session on Tuesday, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors approved a plan to fix incorrect early ballots mailed to about 63,000 voters last week. The ballots were missing city and town contests from seven municipalities: Casa Grande, Eloy, Mammoth, Maricopa, and Superior, along with the Pinal County portions of Apache Junction and Queen Creek.
Pinal County agreed with the secretary of state’s office to send supplemental ballots, or “Municipal Only” ballots, to all voters in the seven municipalities. However, those voters must also use their original ballot for all federal, state, and legislative contests — the supplemental ballots will only account for the races absent from the original, erroneous ballots.
The county will also have in-person voting at Election Day polling sites for municipal contests in the seven impacted cities and towns. As for voters with ballots including races outside their jurisdiction, the county assured reporters that the election tabulation system would invalidate and not count them.
As the Arizona Daily Independent noted, Elections Director David Frisk acknowledged that the county officials bore full responsibility, namely himself.
“Due to human errors made by myself and staff under my direct supervision, ballots were produced and mailed to voters within seven municipalities without the appropriate local races and measures,” said Frisk. “I missed the crucial step of ensuring that each ballot style produced had appropriate races on it […] It was my mistake.”
The plan comes after AZ Free News reported about one Pinal County resident — attorney general candidate Tiffany Shedd — who petitioned her election officials repeatedly about address errors on her and her family’s voter ID cards. Several weeks before the county mailed the 63,000 erroneous ballots, a deputy county attorney informed Shedd — after alleged hostility from the recorder’s office — that she could no longer contact election officials about her issue.
“Our driver’s licenses don’t match our voter ID cards and it was unacceptable to me that any elections official thought it was okay that we might be forced to cast a provisional ballot,” remarked Shedd at the time. “It is a huge problem to receive a ballot for an election that we are not qualified to vote in, and to be denied the opportunity to vote in your own city’s elections. Is it any wonder people are questioning whether our elections are free and fair?”
Shedd also reported that her son received a ballot including a city council race, despite living outside city limits. This was one issue that affected thousands of other Pinal County voters.
Shedd wondered how many other residents’ concerns were dismissed by the county.