Despite problems, Pinal County moves closer to certifying election results

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors met Friday morning to approve a canvass of the primary election results.
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 5:20 PM MST
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FLORENCE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The Pinal County Board of Supervisors met Friday morning to approve a canvass of the primary election results. It’s required under state law and will allow recounts and lawsuits moving forward. Several board members questioned the move and then reluctantly approved it.

“We think some people were not given the opportunity to vote. We don’t know if it’s 10 or one thousand,” Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Jeff Serdy said.

The move follows a slew of problems in their primary election. The county admits that 63,000 early voting ballots were sent out with missing or incorrect city and town races. It meant voters in those impacted areas had to fill out a second supplemental ballot.

On primary day, some polling sites ran out of ballots after the county said it experienced an unexpectedly high number of voters. There are also allegations some poll workers didn’t hand out supplemental ballots and that at least one polling site opened late. “We’re not happy about it but there’s nothing we can do about it,” Serdy said.

Two days after the Primary, the Board fired Elections Director David Frisk, who was only hired five months earlier. Another staffer was let go.

County Recorder Virginia Ross stepped down from her elected position and agreed to take the post. “We jumped right in, we had to finish tabulating all the ballots and we’ve been working around the clock to get that done,” she said.

Under her previous post, Ross oversaw elections for four years until 2017, when the county made it a new job. “She’s found several anomalies that shouldn’t have happened, and where the ball was dropped,” Serdy said.

The county said it’s adding seven staff members to its Election Department, up from the current five. They’re also conducting an administrative review into what went wrong in the primary. “We’ll just have to make the time to provide whatever data inputs they want from us. I’ve already provided the county attorney some information,” Ross said of the review. “We will have an experienced team in place and put in the processes that need to be done, which means we’re going to be following everything by the book,” she continued.

The Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. They’re encouraging those who experienced problems in the primary to attend and share their experiences.