Pima County recorder confident in mail-in voting in Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - In the midst of a pandemic, mail in voting has become the favorable option.
But there’s new uncertainty growing in the upcoming election after the United States Postal Service warned several states their ballots might not get to election offices in time.
Arizona is on the list, but in Pima County, officials say we’re on track.
“We’re comfortable in this state and I’m very comfortable in this county,” said Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez. “Rest assured Pima County government will do everything.”
Rodriguez spoke with the Tucson postmaster and released a press release today saying:
“Regardless of what happens in other states, the local post office assured us that they will continue to provide the excellent delivery service as they have always done. We will continue to pick up ballots daily at the Cherrybell plant beginning Oct. 13, 2020.”
Usually, Recorder staff would begin daily pick-ups on Monday, Oct. 12; however, the post office will be closed on that day for the Columbus Day Holiday. “Because Pima County has been using ballot by mail for over two and a half decades, Pima County post offices know how to quickly process ballots by mail,” said Ms. Rodriguez. Over 75% of Pima County Voters are on the Permanent Early Voter List, and receive their ballots in the mail.”
The only time a slow down could be seen is if your ballot is being mailed out of state. Rodriguez said they can’t control the system once it goes to the hub in Denver, but she recommends mailing it back early enough to make sure it counts.
And voters are anxious to make sure their vote counts. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said their office has been flooded with calls.
“We’re getting lots of calls of concerned voters that their ballots won’t be delivered and their votes won’t count,” said Hobbs.
Hobbs said their lack of confidence could be tied to the president’s recent comments saying he’s opposed to funding the USPS, and it’s why she requested an investigation from the Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich today, Friday, to ask the Election Integrity Unit to look into it.
Hobbs tweeted about her request Friday morning, saying she wants to know “whether or not the Trump administration has committed a crime.”
“We have a state statute that makes it a crime to knowingly delay the delivery of a ballot,” said Hobbs. “As the chief election officer for the state I have a lot of concerns about just undermining peoples confidence in the system.”
Her concerns address the recent changes like eliminating overtime for postal workers and removing of mail sorting machines.
She said the investigation is just another layer of assurance for voters in a system that has had great turn out.
“78% of voters utilized vote by mail in 2018, and in the election we just held last week it’s close to 90% if not over 90%,” said Hobbs. “I think that’s another reason to make the referral to the attorney generals office, it’s just another layer of assurance we can provide to the voters.”
The post office has advised the recorders office that you should mail your ballot in no later than TUESDAY Oct. 27 if you want it to count.
You can always drop them off at several locations.
The Pima County Recorder is also asking the community to step up and help out. They’re looking for more people to help at polling locations for the General Elections.
For more visit: https://www.recorder.pima.gov/default
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