Arizona Secretary of State's Office: Thousands of election pamphlets being reprinted

Posted at 3:46 PM, Sep 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-29 18:50:23-04

Thousands of southern Arizona voters who may have received incorrectly assembled election pamphlets will get new copies before early voting starts next month, a state official said Thursday.

The printing company behind the faulty pamphlets was working quickly to churn out about 68,000 pamphlets, Arizona Secretary of State spokesman Matt Roberts said.

In recent days, voters in Tucson, Green Valley, Nogales and Sierra Vista reported getting pamphlets that were either missing pages or were erroneously put together. According to Roberts, the printer mistakenly combined sections of the English and Spanish versions of the pamphlet. As a result, some Spanish-language pamphlets were missing pages.

The printer requires an employee check every 3,000th pamphlet for any errors, Roberts said. It was found that a worker did not conduct a substantive review but signed off on the pamphlets anyway.

California-based printer Trend Offset said in a statement it takes responsibility for the situation. The company will also pay for the new copies.

"As someone who has worked in printing, I understand production errors happen, but this is extremely disappointing," Secretary of State Michele Reagan said on her office's website.

So far, the problematic pamphlets seem to be relegated to the southern part of the state. The cities in which the complaints were made correspond to a delivery from the same truck, which was carrying more than 68,000 pamphlets, Roberts said.

The Arizona Secretary of State's Office expects them to arrive well before early voting commences Oct. 12.

Voters often consult election publicity pamphlets, which lay out arguments for and against ballot propositions, before heading to the polls.

The defective pamphlets are the latest in a series of missteps this election year.

At least 400,000 voters failed to receive pamphlet guides well in advance of the May 17 special election. Those affected were in households with more than one voter, and 213,000 pamphlets were mailed to those homes after the problem was discovered. Tech company IBM, which provided software services for the state's voter registration system, said it was the responsibility of Reagan's office to take the proper mailing list of voters from the system.

Also in that election, about 1.3 million postcards had to be mailed explaining a misprint in the Spanish-language version of the Maricopa County ballot.

In March, voters in Phoenix waited hours to cast votes in the presidential primary. Maricopa County election officials had approved only opening 60 polling stations, less than half of what is typically for a general election. Reagan also accepted responsibility, but she said she didn't have an issue with the decision at the time it was made. Reagan said she didn't have the authority to request changes even if she had seen a problem.