City officials decided Tuesday morning, as polls opened and the midterm election vote count began, to reintroduce a time-consuming and labor-intensive technique for capturing duplicate ballots, which would restrict how soon they can publish results.
During an emergency 7 a.m. meeting, the city commissioners, the three-member elections board, decided 2-1 to reinstate poll book reconciliation – a method of marking postal votes submitted by voters who also voted in person.
Lisa Deeley, the Democrat who leads the board, joined him.
Omar Sabir, a fellow Democrat, voted against restarting the poll book reconciliation procedure.
Initially, local election officials expected virtually all ballots to be counted by Wednesday morning.
Because of the resolution to reinstate poll book reconciliations, votes still left to count after Tuesday nightwill be processed and reported in a steady flow over the remainder of the week.
Last Monday, the commissioners opted to scrap the reconciliation procedure for this election, claiming it was no longer essential. While reconciliation nabbed a few dozen duplicate votes in 2020, it did not catch any in the previous three elections.
City officials also stated that their reconciliation procedure, which halts the vote count, looked to be in disagreement with Republican lawmakers’ restrictions on new state spending.
These laws force counties to count postal ballots around the clock until the process is completed.
Meanwhile, almost 20 percent of vote tabulation machines were reported to not be working in Maricopa County Arizona as election day unfolded, an ominous sign in a state that had been plagued with controversy during the 2020 elections.