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Arizona county that saw election snafu to waive city costs

PHOENIX (AP) An Arizona county where in fact the Aug. 2 primary election was beset with multiple conditions that resulted in the firing of its election director will waive the expenses for running municipal elections in 11 cities and towns and plans to employ another election expert to examine what went wrong.

The five-member Pinal County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to waive a lot more than $100,000 in costs it planned to bill the cities and towns for running the neighborhood elections.

Seven cities and towns had local races left off early ballots that required the county to mail about 63,000 supplemental ballots. And County Attorney Kent Volkmer told the board that four other municipalities were suffering from Election Day missteps that resulted in ballot shortages at about 20 of the countys 95 polling places.

Because the county manager clearly indicated, we fell below the expectations of our customers, Volkmer told the board. THEREFORE I believe if this board is indeed inclined, I believe there’s good cause to waive for several of the many entities that people serve the municipal and town elections for.

I believe thats advisable because of the issues accessible, Board Chair Jeffrey McClure. The other day, McClure had called the election issues a significant screwup and Elections Director David Frisk was fired the very next day. He previously just been hired in March.

Volkmer also said he was near hiring another election expert to conduct an assessment. He said there is up to now no sign of any criminal violations but that attracting someone from outside would make sure that an unbiased assessment will be swiftly completed. He said if any sign of criminal activity were found, the county sheriff will be called directly into investigate.

What we anticipate getting away from this is exactly what went wrong, why it went wrong and so what can we do to ensure that this will not happen again, Volkmer said. He said he wants the work completed within 60 days, before Novembers general election.

The expert, who Volkmer didn’t publicly identify, has almost 30 years being an elections administrator, had done similar reviews and may both new Elections Director Virginia Ross and new County Recorder Dana Lewis.

Ross was the elected recorder until she resigned the other day to dominate the elections department. Lewis was her assistant. The board appointed her on Friday to dominate as recorder, which handles voter rolls and mail ballots but isn’t associated with voting or ballot counting.

The board will certify the election canvass on Friday, although several board member expressed heartburn over needing to achieve this given last weeks issues. Board member Jeff Serdy said his first reaction your day following the election was he did not desire to accept the outcomes.

Thats no option, Volkmer said. Accepting and certifying the outcomes can be an act that regulations requires. The municipal races will undoubtedly be handled by the localities, while county, state and federal races are around the board.

I’ll tell this board, which is always not just a comfortable conversation, but our legal analysis is you haven’t any choice but to canvass, Volkmer said. It really is whats deemed a ministerial duty, meaning you need to. Its a shall.

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