Maricopa County election director shares plan to address potential problems on Election Day
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Maricopa County Elections Director Scott Jarrett’s job is to ensure Tuesday’s election runs smoothly. “We’re always thinking about potentially, what could go wrong, but then because we do that we identify solutions, and create contingency after contingency,” said Jarrett.
To reduce long wait times, Maricopa County will have 223 Voting Centers, which is 48 more than in 2020. Voters can go to any location to fill out their ballot. “One of the most common complaints from voters is, I’m showing up to a voting location and not being in the right place,” said Jarrett. “Poll workers have to work with them, pulling up a map of voting locations to find the right precinct.”
Voters are encouraged to visit the county website to look up the most convenient polling center. In addition, they can see the real-time wait times of each location.
One of Jarrett’s priorities this year is assuring voters that no fraud or funny business is going on with ballots. “There are checks and balances throughout the entire process,” said Jarrett. “We’ve established great partnerships with county political parties, Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians, and they play a critical role in providing oversight.”
A bogus online story says that all votes should be counted by the end of Election Day. It’s something that’s not possible, with additional ballots needing to be verified after Election Day, according to Jarrett. “There’s no state in the country that as all votes counted on Election Day,” said Jarrett. “Maricopa County has never had all votes counted on Election Day.”
Concerns have also been raised about possible voter intimidation. Jarrett says that poll workers have received extra training this year on how to de-escalate situations that might come up. “You cant obstruct their path to a voting location, shouldn’t be yelling, and you should not be intimidating them from being able to cast their vote,” said Jarrett. “We also have a great partnership with local law enforcement, so if there is a situation, we can call them and they will provide assistance.”
Maricopa County sent the following news release about Election Day:
Beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, state law allows voters who are experiencing an issue that prevents them from voting in person on Election Day to cast their ballot at one of the open Vote Centers throughout Maricopa County. Emergency voting continues through Monday, Nov. 7, at 5 p.m.
Voters do not need to have an emergency to drop off their early ballot in its signed and sealed affidavit envelope over the weekend at any Vote Center or secure drop box across Maricopa County. Early ballots must be returned to the Elections Department by 7 p.m. on Election Day.
Maricopa County will have Vote Centers open Friday, Saturday, and Monday. Voters can find open locations and hours at Locations.Maricopa.Vote.
Over the past week, Maricopa County has outpaced 2018 General Election early ballot returns by over 81,000 ballots, as more than 880,000 voters have already returned an early ballot in this election.
On Election Day, voters can choose from any of the County’s 223 Vote Centers, up from 175 in 2020. The polls are open from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m., and voters can prepare by visiting BeBallotReady.Vote to view their sample ballot and find a convenient polling location.
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