Peoria ballot mistake repeated by county elections

Posted: Updated:
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Maricopa County election officials say replacement ballots they sent to Peoria residents because a mistake left a City Council candidate off the ballot also omitted the candidate's name.

The county spent $15,000 sending out nearly 8,500 new ballots to add back Ken Krieger as a Peoria City Council candidate.

But Maricopa County Elections Department officials said Wednesday the replacement ballots also left Krieger's name off. Officials are now trying to figure out how to handle the repeated mistake.

Krieger attorney Kory Langhofer says the repeated mistakes can't be fixed because of the voter confusion they've created. He says a special election is required.

Krieger's candidacy was initially put on hold due to a challenge. Elections director Karen Osborne says she failed to return his name to the ballot.

Osborne's team worked through the weekend to correct the error and sent the new ballot off to the printing company, which is now taking responsibility.

"We were rushing to get that out and when we uploaded it to our print files, they apparently pushed the original files instead of the replacement files," said Kevin Runbeck of Runbeck Election Services. "So I had a human error event happen."

Krieger said the mistakes will cost his campaign tens of thousands of dollars in wasted funds and was meeting with his legal team Wednesday to decide how to proceed. They were planning a news conference for Thursday morning.

City officials also planned an emergency executive session for Thursday morning.

"The voters are the ones who are affected by this," Krieger told 3TV. "They got two ballots, neither one of them is correct, and now their constitutional rights are being trampled upon."