Will mistakes by the Maricopa County Elections Department result in challenges by candidates?

PHOENIX - Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox worries recent mistakes made by the elections department end up landing Maricopa County in court.

"School board elections are won on one or two votes," said Wilcox. "Many school boards are in minority communities this could affect. That is my fear."

Wilcox' fear comes from a voter ID document and a bookmark distributed by the Maricopa County Elections Department.

Both the document and bookmark incorrectly list in Spanish the date of the upcoming election as November 8.

The correct date is November 6.

"This could have an impact," Wilcox said of the mistakes. "Not on the major elections but on the smaller elections that are so important to our community.

If a candidate believed the mistakes cost them the election they could challenge the results.

Arizona state statutes do allow for post-election corrections.

"It would be a very tough case," said elections law attorney Andy Gordon.

Gordon says it would be tough for a candidate to bring a case against the county but not impossible.

"If they show this is widespread and there is a pattern or practice there, they'd have a better claim," said Gordon.

Gordon agrees the mistakes could have the greatest impact on school board candidates but also on the candidates vying for Maricopa County Sheriff given the interest from the Latino community in that race.

But, even then, Gordon says the candidates would face an uphill battle.

"They're going to have to show at a minimum that there were a significant number of voters who were misled, who would have voted and that would have changed the outcome," said Gordon.

The elections department is planning to start an aggressive Spanish language media campaign letting people know the correct date of the election as November 6th.

Those commercials are expected to start running in the Valley on Thursday.

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