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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
7:53 PM Mon, Sept. 24th

Editorial: There's time to fix election issues

If we do not do elections well, we don't do anything well. That is a mantra we often state this time of year, and Yavapai County Elections Department can rest easy.

The local elections officials had a hard time in the primary getting their voting system to report results to the state. The results were the last to be added to statewide totals early the morning after the election.

That seemed bad enough - even embarrassing - but pales compared to the woes in Apache and Navajo counties. In those places results showed turnout of 293 and 434 percent of registered voters.

That's right.

According to the Associated Press, errors made by poll workers and elections officials there led to the miscalculations. For example, in Apache County, the Puerco West precinct reportedly had 100 votes cast, but only 23 voters are registered there - for 434 percent turnout.

Elections officials said a worker erroneously entered data, missing a digit, and the other polling place counted numerous "east" voters as being "west" voters.

"The ballots are exactly the same, and have the same content, but instead of giving the correct ballot to the voters, they gave the wrong one, which makes it look like we have way too many people voting here - there aren't even that many registered voters here," the elections director said.

The solution? Consolidate precincts.

But, again, when poll workers fail to follow their training, we're messing with one of the most innate rights we have as Americans.

Rest easy, there's no nefarious goings on at the polls - just human error.

Thankfully, the errors didn't cause any significant problems. The good news is the Grand Canyon State has the General Election to right the wrongs.