Voting twice has become the solution to address a massive mistake in early voting ballots sent out to about 63,000 residents of Arizona’s Pinal County.
More than half of all ballots mailed out last week have either the wrong municipal elections listed for the voter getting the ballot or the municipal elections for that voters are completely missing, according to KPNX-TV.
“It’s a terrible time to make that mistake. It was a human error,” Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer said.
Pinal County elections director David Frisk said the buck stops with him.
“This was not a system glitch or a computer error or anything nefarious. It was no fault of anyone in the recorder’s office; it’s my mistake,” Frisk said, according to KTVK-TV.
The glitch impacted the communities of Apache Junction, Casa Grande, Eloy, Mammoth, Maricopa, Queen Creek and Superior.
On Tuesday, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors voted to send out a second slew of ballots.
“At this point, while it is not a perfect solution, we believe this to be the best solution. That solution is to send out to all permanent early voters who requested an early ballot to be mailed a new ballot exclusively containing municipal races in the seven affected jurisdictions,” Volkmer said.
Under the plan adopted Tuesday, everyone who wanted an early ballot in the affected communities will get a Municipal Only ballot, according to KPNX-TV.
Voters in those areas who want to vote in municipal elections must send in a second ballot.
The second ballot only covers municipal contests, so voters who want to cast a vote in federal, state, legislative and county races need to return the first ballot they received.
The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office said after what it called an “extensive” investigation, the elections system in place in blameless for the problem.
“The Pinal County Elections Director David Frisk has been very clear that these issues were the result of human error,” Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said. “The Secretary of State’s Office will continue to support Pinal County in correcting this issue and ensuring that all voters have a chance to cast a ballot in the appropriate elections.”
Others said they were not content with the explanation.
The Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs, signed off on the Pinal County ballots that did not have municipal offices on them. This is unacceptable behavior and performance. pic.twitter.com/bfhYjLLscu
— Mark Finchem (@RealMarkFinchem) July 9, 2022
Pinal County Elections:
Doesn’t bad ballots result in bad elections?
How dare you question us!
— Dr. Andrew Jackson (@DrAndrewJackson) July 12, 2022
In addition to the voters in the seven communities, about 17,000 voters had ballots that listed city and town contests for places in which they do not reside. Those voters are encouraged to return their ballots with their choices for federal, state, legislative and county races. Any votes for municipal contests will not be counted.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.