2019 Elections Review Project

2019 Elections Review Project

2019 Elections Review Project

On January 16, the Board of Supervisors directed the county manager to form a working group that may lead to substantial changes in the way elections are run in the fourth most populous county in the country.

The 2018 Primary and General Elections saw massive turnout and the volume of voters once again shined a light on the need to continually study these complicated processes that require large amounts of planning and temporary staff. There were some polling and ballot counting issues in both elections but by working together, the Board believes these can be solved. Maricopa County has the fastest growing population in the country and the high level of voter engagement requires 21st century solutions in the form of technology and human capital.

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Background

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors assigned responsibility for election day activities to the Recorder’s Office in 1955 and has operated under that agreement ever since. It is one of three Arizona counties (out of 15) with that structure.

Issues stemming from the August, 28 2018 Primary Election led the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to request an internal audit and external review of election processes. The goal was to learn why these issues occurred and what could be done to mitigate them in the November 6 General Election and beyond.

The Internal Audit Department released an interim report on September 21.

An outside contractor, BerryDunn, released its capstone report on November 2.

Following the November 6 General Election, the Board of Supervisors engaged in discussions about the future of elections in Maricopa County, taking into account the findings of the above-mentioned reports, and focusing on three areas: 

  • Structure

  • Staffing

  • Technology