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Election 2018: Common voting registration, early ballot questions from viewers

Posted: 7:24 PM, Oct 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-24 17:40:07Z

With the election two weeks away, we've been getting a growing number of questions and concerns from voters regarding registration issues and early ballots.

Many of those questions and concerns have been similar.

To provide some clarity and answers, we've been researching common issues and reached out to the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office.  

ISSUE: Getting another voter’s registration identification or early ballot in the mail

Since January 1, the county has processed 163,000 new registrations and 340,000 registration modifications (address changes, party changes, etc.).

Many of those occurred in recent weeks, and recent changes aren’t always processed in time before early ballots and other records go out.

That means some people will receive ballots for people who previously lived at their address.

“Because we have to send out 1.6 million ballots, we have to get the order sent out to our printers two to three weeks before the ballots actually get sent out,” Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said.

In some cases, voters have received two early ballots because they updated a driver’s license or other voting information triggering a new registration notification.

QUESTION: Will my voter information be updated in time for the election?

If voters make a registration change before the early ballot deadline, Fontes said his official will have those registration changes updated by election day.

QUESTION: What if someone uses another voter’s early ballot to vote?

“They’d have to get by the signature verification system,” Fontes said. “On every envelope, we get a scan of the name and signature on it. And we match that up on the form that person originally gave us that has their signature on it from the voter registration file.”

There are multiple election workers who verify each early ballot. Fontes said.

The early ballots also have an individualized serial number ensuring that only one vote is counted for that voter.

QUESTION: What should I do if I receive another person’s voter records or ballot?

The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office said you should mark the outside of the envelope as return to sender.

“Return to sender like you would any other piece of mail,” Fontes said. “That will be notification to us that the person is no longer at the address.”