Two local polling places open late

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Two local polling places - one in the Villages and one in Stanfield - were late to open this morning due to staffing and other issues. Both sites are now open. [Bryan Mordt]

Two local polling places did not open on time at 6 a.m. today, delaying citizens’ ability to cast their ballots in person.

The Precinct 79 polling place in the Villages opened at 10 a.m., according to Pinal County Elections Director David Frisk. He was unsure of the exact reason for the delay there. An election inspector did not show up at a voting location in Stanfield, delaying the opening of the polls there as well.

“Both those locations opened late,” Frisk said. “I don’t know the exact cause of it, but I do know an election inspector was not on-site at one of the locations in Stanfield and we had to replace them. The polls there are open now. I wish I could give you answers now but I just don’t have the information.”

The issues come on the heels of errors on Pinal County ballots that left municipal election candidates off some ballots and added them to some ballots for voters not in those cities. The county devised a fix that included printing supplemental ballots for those in affected areas. Those voters will use two ballots – one for the municipal election and another for all other races.

Frisk said all polling locations in Pinal County are now open and will remain so until the poll closing time of 7 p.m. Polls that did not open on time will not stay open later to compensate for the downtime, Frisk said.

Frisk also responded to reports of some voters not receiving the supplemental ballot required to vote in municipal elections in seven Pinal County cities including Maricopa saying there could be a logical explanation.

“I don’t know the specifics of the two-ballot situation,” he said. “Not every person that goes into a polling place is going to be required to vote a supplemental ballot. It is only needed by those who live within the city limits and are voting in the municipal election (including the Maricopa City Council election).

“Precincts cross city borders, so not everyone in the same precinct is going to have the same ballot,” Frisk continued. “If I’m in precinct 40, some people might be in the city limits and some might be outside, and so people might have different ballots within the same precinct.”

He added that early returns show turnout being higher than expected.

“We were anticipating the low 30s (percentage voter turnout), but it looks like we’ll surpass that,” he said. “By 8 tonight we’ll have a better idea of the final numbers.”