OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
With weeks before the crucial primaries in Arizona, election officials are admitting they made a “mistake” with ballots.
As noted by Yahoo News, over 60,000 Pinal County voters received early voting ballots with mistakes, and county officials told local news stations that they do not have a clear solution of when they will correct the issues.
County Attorney Kent Volkmer said they estimate 63,000 ballots have been impacted so far, revealing that the County Elections Office sent out “mistaken” ballots to at least seven cities or towns in Pinal County.
Even more concerning, Volkmer admitted the county doesn’t have a clear solution.
“We are not sitting on our hands,” said Volkmer. “My office, we worked through the weekend Saturday, Sunday. We are exploring all of our options.”
“Right now, I believe potentially holding a separate special election for those districts seems to be the most likely scenario,” Volkmer added
He said that could change and the decision could come down to a judge, saying: “This is exclusively limited to these seven jurisdictions and their municipal races.”
“There are all of these legal requirements, and frankly impediments, to fix our error,” said Volkmer. “But it’s done to protect the voter.”
Pinal County elections director David Frisk is taking full responsibility for the mistake. “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.
Some Pinal County residents will have to file a second ballot after a “human error" caused 60,000 bad ballots to be sent out.
— Alexis Cortez (@alexisdcortez) July 13, 2022
— azfamily 3TV CBS 5 (@azfamily) July 13, 2022
Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who is also running to be Arizona’s next governor, said her office has completed an “extensive” investigation and found the system that created the ballots didn’t contribute to the errors on the ballots.
Her office claimed the system is still secure and reliable for the 2022 election.
“The Pinal County Elections Director David Frisk has been very clear that these issues were the result of human error,” 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.”
“The board unanimously voted to approve the plan. Volkmer says the bad ballots already sent out will still be good for federal, state, and county elections. Anyone who received a ballot missing a local town or city race must fill out a second ballot containing only those races,” AZ Family reported.
A special County Board of Supervisors meeting is set to discuss this issue, and possibly take action.
“I’m afraid,” voter Rhonda Barber told ABC15. “This is just crazy. I have no answers. That’s why I’m down here, to find out what’s going on.”
Barber is a caretaker and noticed something was wrong with her mom’s ballot.
“There were certain things that are missing from the ballot,” said Barber.
Pinal County officials told ABC15 that a “human error” caused some ballots to be printed without municipal races.
Officials also admitted that some who are not eligible to vote in municipal contests had received a ballot with those races.
“With everything going on, we have to be concerned,” said voter Diane Kouchee. “We have to be aware.”