Fire destroys Pinal County election equipment

FLORENCE, AZ - Pinal County is without virtually any election equipment after an overnight fire gutted the election warehouse in downtown Florence.

County Recorder Virginal Ross says the lost equipment includes the central computer used to tabulate results and optical scanners and touch-screen machines used at polling places.

Pinal County Interim Communications Director Joe Pyritz says no records were damaged.

"All those records are being kept at the voter registration office," said Pyritz.

Fire Chief Pete Zick says right now, nothing points towards foul play.

"We did have pretty heavy fire from the fire from the roof last night," said Zick. "So that's where they're (investigators) are going to concentrate and figure out why the fire started up there."

Ross and Florence Town Manager Charles Montoya say cause of the fire is under investigation.

Montoya says the fire started late Monday night and that his town's firefighters received assistance from several other departments in the area.

The fire is estimated to have caused $1.2 million in damage, and the building is a total loss, county officials told ABC15 crews at the scene.

Ross says her county's next election is the state primary in August but that she's been assured by the Board of Supervisors chairman that the elections department will get what it needs to reconstitute.

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