To make sure ballot counting goes more quickly in the next election, there’s a lot of work to be done.
County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry sent a 4-page letter about it to Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett Tuesday, outlining election problems and offering help finding solutions.
Among the problems highlighted by Huckelberry:
• Counting provisional and conditional ballots takes too long. One reason is there are many more of them than in past elections, because of the rise of early voting, redistricting and a less than perfect voter list.
• A lot of voters who signed up to vote early dropped off their ballots at a polling place on election day. Verifying those ballots more quickly will take more staff and equipment.
• Pima County’s voting equipment needs to be replaced, but it will cost $6 million and require federal certification.
“This equipment was state-of-the-art in 2000, but it has gained antique status in 2012,” Huckelberry said in the memo.
But Huckelberry offered solutions, too, saying “We are ready to assist in meaningful election process modifications. Among his proposed solutions:
• The state could start a pilot project in Pima County to use scanners to help in the ballot audit process that follows an election.
• The state could use the county’s Election Integrity Commission, the only one of its kind in the state, for expertise in a needed update of the state election procedures.
• The state could make is easier for people who change their addresses on their drivers licenses after they move to change their addresses on their voter registration at the same time.
Contact reporter Becky Pallack at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4346. On Twitter @BeckyPallack.