By 10 p.m. on the night of the May sales tax election, Maricopa County had nearly finished tabulating its votes.
Pima County had processed only about 8 percent of the polls.
Pima County Elections Director Brad Nelson said this election cycle will be different — and he’s predicting he’ll have 80 percent of votes tabulated by 10 p.m.
County officials have blamed the tardy tabulation on ballot security measures.
Pima County agreed to stop using modems to send results directly from polling places to be counted, in response to charges raised by the Pima County Democratic Party the county rigged the 2006 regional transportation vote. There were concerns a hacker could intercept the transmission and change the results.
So after the polls closed, poll workers completed a mini-audit at their polling place, before taking the vote recording machine to a satellite location for another inventory.
That part will remain the same this time, too.
But elections workers used to then take them to the county’s downtown complex, for yet another inventory, before going to the old counting site on South Mission Road. Now that the elections department moved in June to a new complex at 6550 S. Country Club, workers can go straight there without the intermediate stop in between.
Meanwhile, voters who are not on the permanent early voting list should watch this week for a 4 x 6 yellow card in their mailboxes to let them know which of the 380 polling places in the county is theirs.