“Human error” leads to 60K incorrect ballots sent out to Pinal County residents

The elections director said the wrong information was entered into the computer system that creates ballots.
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 7:24 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Some Pinal County residents will have to file a second ballot after a “human error” caused 60,000 bad ballots to be sent out last week. As a result, 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.

He says the wrong information was entered into the computer system that creates the ballots. Because of the error, voters in seven cities and towns in Pinal County received early ballots missing their local municipal races. The cities and towns included were Apache Junction, Casa Grande, Eloy, Mammoth, Maricopa, Queen Creek, and Superior.

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors held a special meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss how to deal with the mistake. Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer is suggesting the county holds two simultaneous elections. “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,” said Volkmer.

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.

On Tuesday evening, the Secretary of State’s Office said it completed an “extensive” investigation and found the system that created the ballots didn’t contribute to the errors on the ballots. It added 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,” 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.”

Anyone with questions about voting or the ballots can call 520-509-3555 or email communications@pinal.gov. Pinal County has a comprehensive FAQ with the latest information at www.pinalcountyaz.gov/ballotissues. For up-to-date information about the Primary Election, visit Arizona.Vote or call 1-877-THE-VOTE or 602-542-8683.