/ Modified oct 19, 2022 9:17 p.m.

Pinal officials pledge better election this time

The August primary was beset by problems in the rural county.

Nelson-Pinal Consultant Brad Nelson, former director of Pima County elections, addresses the Pinal County Board of Supervisors on October 19, 2022.
Screenshot/Pinal County

Officials in Pinal County promise a trouble-free general election in November, after the county drew national attention for multiple mixups in the August primary election.

At some polling places the county did not supply enough ballots. In some others, the county failed to list all the applicable city elections.

County leaders replaced their elections director and hired former Pima County election chief Brad Nelson as a consultant.

Nelson told the Pinal County Board of Supervisors Wednesday that communication problems appear to be resolved.

"You are on the right course now. The training manual looks absolutely perfect. I've had the occasion to be within the elections department office to see how they are operating; their challenges are being met," Nelson said.

At the meetings, officials also responded to suggestions from concerned voters prompted by election skeptics on talk radio and the internet.

One common suggestion is to replace ballot counting machines with a hand count. Because of requirements in state law that idea is a non-starter, according to County Attorney Kent Volkmer.

"This board does not have the authority to order a hand count and I would implore this board do not go down that route. There's nothing but problems," Volkmer told the board.

Last week supervisors in Cochise County also mused about switching to a hand count, in response to concerns from the public, but dropped the idea on advice from their lawyers.

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