Helen Purcell concedes Maricopa County Recorder race

Posted at 12:19 PM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 18:55:42-05

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell will be replaced by challenger Adrian Fontes.

Purcell will be replaced months after many voters waited in lines for over two hours to cast their ballot in the Presidential Preference Election, sparking controversy against her office. 

In a statement on Tuesday, Purcell said:

“Twenty-eight years ago, Maricopa County voters gave me the honor to serve as County Recorder. Throughout that time we’ve built one of the most revered recording systems in the country, and led the charge to make registering to vote and voting more accessible than ever.

This election the voters spoke once again.

I want to congratulate Adrian Fontes on a hard fought race and give my word that I will do everything I can to make this a seamless transition.

I want to express my appreciation to everyone who voted, regardless of how they voted. I’ve spent my career dedicated to our election process, and there is no greater joy than seeing such high turnout and participation.

Most importantly I want to thank the hardworking women and men in my office for their tireless service. I’m forever grateful to have served alongside this team, and I’m eternally indebted to the residents and voters of Maricopa County for affording me the opportunity. It has been the pleasure and privilege of a lifetime, and one I will never take for granted—just as I hope you will never take for granted this awesome and truly American responsibility of participating in the electoral process.”

"I think that there is a lot of room for improvement, there's a lot of reasons for that," Fontes told ABC15 in an interview. 

He addressed the long lines many voters faced during several Arizona elections. 

"Democracy is going to move forward, regardless of the speed of the elections, but if we can kind of bring that up to tempo a bit, the voters benefit," he said. "A lot of little mistakes, really over a couple of decades, really blossomed to the forefront, and people were paying close attention to elections. "

"We really have to think that what went wrong really was the fact that we weren't paying close attention to the administration of our elections, for a long time," he said. "I won't say specifically that is Helen Purcell's fault, I think that it is all of our fault, but we are on the right track now, and we try to move forward. "