TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — There’s an election roughly a month away. The August 2nd primary will decide who faces off in the November election for the Senate, House and a wide range of state lawmaker seats. Pima County is working to have a new way to vote ready for that August election.
Pima County will continue to use mail-in ballots but people who prefer in-person voting will need to learn a new system.
Instead of voting precincts tied to where they live, they’ll go to any of 129 voting centers spread through Pima County.
Workers will look them up in an electronic database, then print a ballot on the spot that has the right candidates for where they live.
Bill Beard was one of the test voters in Friday’s test and a previous test. He’s active in Republican politics, and served on Pima County’s election commission. He says at first the system showed him with the wrong party—and he has his doubts that it will be ready for the primary election August 2nd.
“They are not prepared. They have inadequate training for the staff. They have cut in half the number of locations from the 2018-2020 cycle where people will be able to show up and vote. Based on my real world experience two weeks in a row now they do not understand how to deal with problems that will inevitably occur on election day.”
Pima County Election Director Constance Hargrove says there have been some snags because the test database is from out of date voter rolls. But she’s confident the system and her staff will be ready to deliver a smooth and secure election.
“The company Tenex is all over the country, so they’re been used in elections all over the United States. The technology I’ve used before was secure. I’ve never had any issues with somebody hacking it or anything like that.”
Many of Friday’s test voters will be poll workers on election day. Some told us they like the new system. One said he was concerned about the security of electronic systems but after time with this system he’s more confident it’s secure.
Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 30 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing email@example.com or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.