PHOENIX — The Latest on Arizona’s presidential primary election (all times local):
The top elections official in Maricopa County says she’s to blame for hours-long lines at polling places on Election Day because she underestimated turnout and the effect of fewer polling places.
County Recorder Helen Purcell said in an interview with The Associated Press Wednesday that she made bad decisions based on the information she had and that led to waits that topped four hours at times. The Thousands of people waited for hours at many of the 60 polling places across the county of 4 million people.
In the 2012 presidential primary, Maricopa County had 200 polling places, and in most elections has about 700. The county cut polling places to save money and because so many residents vote using early ballots.
Purcell says if she had known turnout was going to be so high, her department would have done things differently.
Gov. Doug Ducey says it’s unacceptable that many Arizonans faced long lines to vote in the state’s presidential primary election and that election officials must determine what went wrong and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Ducey says one specific fix that needs to be made is that registered independents should be allowed to vote in the presidential primary election, just as they can in the state’s regular primary election.
Ducey says it’s wrong that voters who wanted to vote couldn’t do so.
Long lines plagued many polling places all day Tuesday in Maricopa County, home to three of every five Arizona voters.
Maricopa County officials had drastically cut the number of polling sites to save money, and the decision backfired the minute the polls opened and long lines began to form.