Maricopa County Elections Department responds to misprints, plans publicity campaign

PHOENIX - The Maricopa County Elections Department plans to launch an "aggressive Spanish language publicity campaign" in response to two mistakes which gave voters the wrong date of the upcoming election.

Twice in the past week, ABC15 uncovered election materials distributed by Maricopa County that incorrectly listed in Spanish the date of the election as November 8.

The publicity campaign the elections department is launching will highlight the correct date, November 6.

An elections department spokeswoman said potentially thousands of people received the wrong information printed on both a bookmark and a voter ID card document.

"I'm concerned it may have an impact on my campaign," said Democratic candidate for Maricopa County Sheriff, Paul Penzone. "But, more importantly, a person, because of a clerical error, may miss their opportunity to vote."

Members of Citizens For A Better Arizona delivered a giant calendar to the office of Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell Tuesday afternoon.

"Helen Purcell is supposed to get the date right," said CBA President Randy Parraz. "November 6 is the election day . Thursday's the 8 you wait you're denied your right to vote."

In a news release unveiling the publicity campaign, Purcell described the past week as "difficult."

""I wish I could say we never made a mistake in this office," said Purcell. "But we do."

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio released the following statement to ABC15:

This was clearly a mistake and it appears the Elections Department is doing everything they can to correct it. Helen Purcell manages a bipartisan office which includes Karen Osborne, a Democrat, as the Director of Elections. Any suggestion that there is a conspiracy to suppress the Hispanic vote is completely asinine.

Independent candidate Mike Stauffer released a similar statement:

Once again, Citizens For A Better Arizona and the Maricopa County Democratic Party have immaturely lashed out finding conspiracies where there are none. The bookmarks in question have been out since January and the error has just now been discovered. To play the "blame game" and go after an elected official is simply one more example of how the special interests and the Dems play politics and copy Arpaio tactics. This is one more demonstration of what a Dem/CBA controlled sheriff's office would look like. More of the same just with a "D" instead of an "R." Since political power and getting a turn at the trough is their priority, the Dems and their attack dogs in the CBA have a problem sticking to the issues and concerns that concern us, the people of Maricopa County. It's time for an independent, professional, experienced law enforcement leader at the MCSO.

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