Early Ballots Included Errors in Arizona — 63,000 Possibly Impacted

A major mistake in Pinal County Arizona’s August 2 primary election led to around 63,000 ballots in Pinal County, had the wrong municipality election or the municipality election wasn’t included on the ballots at all. Those 63,000 votes make up about half of all the early ballots sent out.

The solution? Send out a second batch of ballots to permanent early voters who requested the first ballot. Those second ballots will only have the municipal election on them.

Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer said, “It’s a terrible time to make that mistake. It was a human error.”

Pinal County elections director David Frisk took responsibility for the incident and said, “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.”

The Pinal County Board of Supervisors voted to send out the second batch of ballots on Tuesday.

Volkmer said, “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.”

Voters who want to participate in the municipal election will have to send in a second ballot and those who want to participate in federal, state, legislative and county elections will need to turn in the first ballot.

The investigation that was conducted showed that human error was to blame. Arizona’s Secretary of State called it an “extensive” investigation.

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said, “The Pinal County Elections Director David Frisk has been very clear that these issues were the result of human error. 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.”

Ensuring everyone has the opportunity to vote is a key Constitutional right, but opening up the possibility of people voting twice is dangerous and could lead to fraud.

While officials have said that ineligible votes won’t be counted, the fact remains that if human error caused the problem, then human error could contribute to miscounting votes. That would be a devastating result to an already difficult problem that Arizona is facing.