State certifies voting equipment ahead of Democratic primaries

Posted 3/2/20

Maricopa County’s voting equipment and programs are accurate and ready to use in the Democratic Presidential Preference Election, per state officials.

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State certifies voting equipment ahead of Democratic primaries

Posted

Maricopa County’s voting equipment and programs are accurate and ready to use in the Democratic Presidential Preference Election, per state officials.

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs recently tested and certified the central count and precinct-based tabulators and programs for accuracy. State officials also tested and certified the new accessible voting devices as accurate on Feb. 18, according to a press release.

The new equipment, which replaces Maricopa County’s legacy equipment purchased in 1996, is federally and state certified and counties across the country use them. Arizona also piloted it in November for the Madison School District election.

“We made this investment to make sure we provide residents with results quicker, while still maintaining the security of our elections,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman, District 4, said in a prepared statement.

“We are expecting historic voter turnout in 2020, and with nearly 2.4 million registered voters and growing, we felt it was time to upgrade our equipment to ensure this Department is best in class.”

The new central count tabulators can process 6,000-8,000 ballots per hour, while the old equipment processed about 3,000 ballots per hour. The new equipment also requires a new ballot style. Voters will fill in ovals rather than connecting arrows to mark their choice on their ballots.

“This year will be historic, with more voters than ever before casting ballots in our County’s elections,” Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said in a prepared statement.
“The new ballot style and tabulation equipment, tested and approved today, helps us serve the voters with the most accurate, secure and efficient equipment available.”

Unlike Arizona’s traditional primaries, the Presidential Preference Election is not an open primary. Only Democrats that were registered by the Feb. 18 deadline are eligible to vote in this election. The Republican and Libertarian parties opted out of this election.

Those registered without a party, commonly referred to as independents, are not eligible, a release states.

There are 732,380 registered Democrats eligible to participate in the Presidential Preference Election. To date, the state has mailed out over 567,500 early ballots and processed over 94,000 returned ballots. Voters have until Friday, March 6 to request an early ballot.

The last recommended day to mail back Presidential Preference Election ballot is Wednesday, March 11. After that, the department recommends voters drop off ballots at any of our voting locations.

A complete list of locations and hours of operation at https://recorder.maricopa.gov/pollingplace/. The Presidential Preference Election is March 17.

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