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Elections officials tout transparency and security amid growing skepticism

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 08:14:11-04

PHOENIX — With less than 10 days from the August 2nd Primary Election, the Maricopa County recorder says his team has processed more than 360,000 ballots.

On Monday, there was a constant line of vehicles outside the County Tabulation Center.

"I got in my vehicle, I got my ballot, I signed the back of it, and I am dropping it off in that box," said Edward Blackwell.

Like many Americans, after the 2020 election, Blackwell became more skeptical about his ballot security.

"I personally want to make sure that my ballot is in the ballot box because there are too many moving parts between dropping it in the mail and getting it here, where things could be lost, damaged, stolen. Stuff happens in life," Blackwell added.

"Do you have more skepticism about the process?" asked ABC15.

"Heck yeah," replied one woman.

The team at the Maricopa County Elections Department knows more Arizonans have questions and concerns this time around.

"We get questions every day, either through our star call center or in email, asking about the process and wanting more information," said Megan Gilbertson, Communications Director for the Maricopa County Elections Department. "We really want to make sure this process is as open and transparent as possible."

County officials want voters to know their ballots are picked up by bipartisan couriers "who have a chain of custody form that they fill out," Gilbertson added.

The ballots are then signature verified, processed in a wide-open room by people from differing parties, and tabulated by a machine.

Some ballots are also hand counted to constantly ensure the accuracy of the machines.

Then, all the ballots are evidence-sealed in boxes and stored in a locked vault, "which has even more restricted access than the rest of this building. It's also under 24-7 camera [surveillance]." said Gilbertson.

Keep in mind that who you voted for is never known by election workers.

The results of the early votes are also not known until 8 p.m. on election night.

Before results start showing up online and on TV screens, Maricopa County voters can get a text letting them know their ballots have been verified, tabulated, and counted.

If you have questions about the process, your ballot, polling location, or what to volunteer to participate in the process, click here.