Originally Published: May 4, 2010 10:32 p.m.
State mailers told approximately 27,000 registered voters in Yavapai County to go to incorrect polling places for the May 18 election. The incorrect directions were contained in state publicity pamphlets mailed last month about the special statewide election on increasing the state sales tax.
The error, made by a third-party contractor used by the state, impacts 39 percent of all county households that received a special election publicity pamphlet in the mail.
To alleviate confusion, the state is immediately mailing postcards to each registered voter from affected households. These postcards, which should begin showing up in mailboxes this week, will point voters to the correct polling place for the special election. Voters in households that received an accurate publicity pamphlet will not receive a postcard.
"We truly regret the error, and ask that voters watch their mail in the coming days for one of our brightly-colored postcards," state Election Director Amy Bjelland said in a statement Tuesday. "If you receive one, it will point you to your correct polling place. If you don't, you'll know your publicity pamphlet was accurate and you can attend your polling place as instructed."
The Secretary of State's Office is working to ensure that no taxpayer dollars are used in the mailing of the corrective postcards.
The polling place error impacts publicity pamphlets mailed to about 191,000 households statewide, or roughly 10 percent of the 1.9 million pamphlets mailed across Arizona. Twelve of the state's 15 counties were affected, with Maricopa, Pima and Apache counties spared.
The May 18 special election will use consolidated polling places, so there will be fewer places to cast a ballot than in a traditional election. A consolidated election results in significant savings to the taxpayer, but also means some voters will be instructed to cast a ballot at a different polling place than the one they may have used in the 2008 elections.
Voters may locate their polling place for the May 18 election by contacting their county elections office or using the Secretary of State's new Voter View tool at voter.azsos.gov/VoterView/PollingPlaceSearch.do.