After it emerged that in Pinal County, Arizona, at least 20 precincts were experiencing a ballot shortage at Polling stations, local officials revealed they weren’t sure how that could happen.
The shortage in Arizona’s third largest county occurred on Tuesday (August 2) during the primary election, drawing concern from the Republican Party.
In a press conference, two County officials noted that the County was scrambling to get to the bottom of what led to the incident and an audit would be conducted if necessary.
Admitting they were aware of the situation, chairman of the Pinal County Board of Supervisors, Jeffrey McClure, said, “We opened the boxes, and there weren’t enough ballots … so we’re not really quite clear how that occurred.”
However, on primary night many voters were told to either return to their polling station or wait while the county printed out more ballots because the polling station had run out of ballots.
Officials couldn’t ascertain how many voters were affected by the shortage but emphasized that not all of the precincts that requested more ballots had run out of ballots beforehand.
Acknowledging the unfortunate turn of events, Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer said that he was aware that the ballot chaos could set off a storm of conspiracy theories about election malfeasance in Arizona. However, he urged voters and the general public to only judge the County by its future conduct promising that a ballot fiasco wouldn’t occur again.
Preempting a common GOP complaint about voter fraud, Volkmer stated, “There is nothing sinister — it wasn’t as if we said, ‘Hey, this is only going to impact a Republican.’ … This was widespread. It was equal opportunity. It was just simply a mistake.”