Spanish language early ballots have major error

Posted at 11:55 AM, Apr 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-22 21:58:55-04

ABC15 has learned thousands of early ballots mailed in Maricopa County this week have a major mistake in the Spanish translation of Proposition 124. 

Proposition 124 is a proposal to make changes to police and firefighter pensions.  However, the boldface short title of the proposition in Spanish indicates it’s about education funding.  The wording in the title for Proposition 124 appears identical to Proposition 123, which is also on the ballot.


Beneath the incorrect title for Proposition 124, there is a more lengthy explanation that appears to appropriately describe the pension reform ballot measure.

MAP: 56 new polling locations in Maricopa County

Spokespeople for both the Arizona Secretary of State and the Maricopa County Recorder say they were unaware of the problem until ABC15 brought it to their attention Friday morning.

Late afternoon Friday, Secretary of State Michele Reagan said in a prepared statement that she was "frustrated and disappointed" to learn about the error.

She said Maricopa County has agreed to reprint 700,000 polling place ballots and will send out a postcard to the 1.3 million voters who received an early ballot letting them know about the error.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell also spoke out about the mistake after ABC15 brought the issue to her attention on Friday.

Watch our interview with Purcell in the player above.

The U.S. Justice Department is already investigating the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office for possible improprieties in the March 22 Presidential Preference Election.  Polling locations were drastically reduced, leading to lengthy lines and voter frustration.  Hispanic community activists had claimed the changes suppressed the vote, largely in poor, minority communities.