Pinal County canvass shows 75% voter turnout

Election 2020 Pima Butte
A "Vote Here" sign at Precinct 74 at Pima Butte Elementary School. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Pinal County had a record number of ballots cast in the general election and 75% voter turnout, according to Elections Director Michele Forney.

The county Board of Supervisors voted to accept the canvass of the election Wednesday morning and received a rundown of election events. Of the 186,319 ballots cast, 75% were early ballots.

The canvass concluded the tight race for Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board, which had three available seats. Torri Anderson, AnnaMarie Knorr and Jim Jordan were all re-elected, though the latter received just 17 votes more than challenger Tracie Armstead-Payton.

All other results remained as they were last reported Thursday.

Forney said countywide voter registration and voter turnout have “grown substantially” this year. She noted two precincts in Saddlebrooke had 90% turnout.

Maricopa’s highest turnout was in the Province precinct, which had 80% turnout. The lowest was in Senita, with 66%.

Forney described “a few, small, scattered incidents” at the polls, primarily involving people not respecting the 75-foot anti-electioneering zone. Local law enforcement was notified in Maricopa, Gila River and an unincorporated area to resolve those situations.

Observers showed up to monitor most polling places, she said.

Forney walked the supervisors through the security protocols, including logic-and-accuracy testing before and after the election. Officials from the Secretary of State’s Office also ran random tests of the equipment before the election.

The county uses software from Elections Systems & Software (ES&S). Election results are stored on a closed network. The results are transferred on a series of 14 thumb drives only through Forney.

Following the law, after precincts report 100% of votes cast, the county randomly selected two polling places to recount by hand. That amounted to 1,198 ballots, or 1% of early ballots. The hand counts matched the computer counts.

Forney also dismissed any concerns about Sharpie use, which had caused some controversy in the state. She said no polling places in Pinal County handed out Sharpies. Even if the voter used a Sharpie and the ink bled through, it would not have compromised the ballot because it would have appeared in a section that would have been ignored by the counting equipment. she explained.

“No ballots whatsoever were rejected,” Forney said.

In her last week of employment with the county, Forney has taken a job with the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office. Since 2015, she has conducted 13 elections for Pinal County. Her interim replacement is Stephanie Cooper.

Despite the election, MUSD still has an opening on its governing board with the resignation of Patti Coutre. The county superintendent will choose a replacement.


Maricopa City Council
Amber Liermann 11,683
Andre LaFond 9,169

MUSD Governing Board (elect 3)
Torri Anderson 13,883
AnnaMarie Knorr 13,267
Jim Jordan 11,502
Tracie Armstead-Payton 11,485

Proposition 452 (Southwest Gas)
Yes 17,553
No 6,650

Proposition 453 (Maricopa Consolidated DWID)
Yes 111
No 77


Supervisor District 4
Jeffrey McClure 23,350
Marlene Pearce 17,816


Precinct                                Trump    Biden    Jorgensen           Write-in
30 Maricopa                           48.5%    49.4%       1.7%                  .38%
73 Santa Rosa                        49.4%    49.2%       1.4%                    0
74 El Dorado                          47.8%    50.4%       1.6%                  .31%
78 Maricopa Meadows             52.2%    45.7%       1.7%                  .43%
79 Maricopa Fiesta                  49.6%    48.0%       2.0%                 .44%
80 Province                            52.6%    46.0%       1.2%                 .24%
90 Senita                               43.5%    54.4%       1.98%               .16%
100 Desert Cedars                  46.3%    51.6%       1.7%                 .36%
101 Alterra North                    44.9%    52.1%       2.4%                 .62%
102 Maricopa Wells                 50.9%    46.7%       1.9%                 .57%


Precinct                              Trump    Biden    Jorgensen           Write-in
31 Stanfield                          59.2%    39.6%    1.0%                      .32%
54 Thunderbird Farms            68.5%    30.4%    1.1%                      .07%
62 Casa Blanca                      11.6%    87.3%    1.0%                      .20%
67 Hidden Valley                    63.3%    34.7%    2.0%                        0
77 Ak-Chin                            13.6%    84.0%    2.1%                      .30%