County ready for elections with anti-fraud measures - CBS 5 - KPHO

County ready for elections with anti-fraud measures

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Party officials monitor early vote counting Party officials monitor early vote counting
Poll workers count early ballots Poll workers count early ballots
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Maricopa County elections officials say they are prepared for tomorrow's election, and they are hoping everything runs as smoothly as possible.

"If somebody tells you they have run a perfect election, they have never done an election, because nothing is ever perfect," said Helen Purcell, the county recorder and person in charge of the county's elections.

"You're dealing with people and you're dealing with their ability to vote, which is sacred to them and it's sacred to me," she continued.

Purcell has set up so-called "fail-safe" measures to cut down on errors and mistakes that can arise when the polls are opened. Support lines are set up to help troubleshoot problems with polling machines at polling locations. Guards monitor the early ballot processing that is currently going on, and county attorneys are at the ready to investigate any alleged fraud that may take place Tuesday.

"If we see something, we will immediately turn it over to the county attorney's office. They will send out investigators to investigate that (issue) and see if it's something we do need to deal with," she explained.

Purcell said elections officials are aware of ways that people can vote twice, but there are measures in place to prevent that. 

"We do have some people that already voted early ballot and voted provisional at the polling place. But that doesn't count. There is 'first in, first counted,' so the second one doesn't count."

Purcell said election workers know when someone was issued an early ballot, so if a voters try to vote on Election Day, they are given a provisional ballot. That ballot is not recorded until it is determined whether their early ballot was already counted.

However, Purcell said election fraud is very rare in Arizona.

"I think anytime you're talking about fraud, that should be something that people are concerned about. We just don't see it here. We have put so many things in place in Arizona law to take care of something that might happen," she stated.

In the past 10 years, there have only been six recorded cases of election fraud in Arizona.

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