Pinal County Election Problems – Arizona PBS

Pinal County elections director Virginia Ross has evidence of inaccuracies that she did not flag before county supervisors approved the results of the November election, Jen Fifield reports. Instead, she said she would keep her numbers and collected a $25,000 bonus.

Fifield said a statewide recount last winter showed hundreds of votes were initially uncounted in the Pinal County election.

“As you know, the race was very close. We had three reports statewide this year,” said Fifield.

This is especially true for the Attorney General race. According to Fifield, Abe Hamade is trailing by about 500 votes and remains in court seeking a retrial because of these results.

Virginia Ross, a longtime recordkeeper, was appointed as election administrator just before the election began due to problems with the primary. Fifield said he was offered a bonus if he corrected the election results. Despite Ross’ recommendation to prove the election, a discrepancy was found.

“She came before her supervisors and said everything was fine, and they certified the election. She moved to Texas after the election was approved but before the recount started and she retired,” Fifield said.

Fifield has been unable to contact Ross since all this happened.

“I don’t know what she’s thinking right now, but I do know what she said in front of them that day and it was fine,” Fifield says.

Fifield said the primary issue was similar to this one in the sense that election commissioners were inexperienced.

“This is what they have done twice now, putting their trust in this new election administrator to conduct a full election. Those were other issues on Election Day. Nearly a quarter were out of ballots, so what really mattered was that Election Day, and this time, when they got past that point, they were pretty sure everything worked out. Fifield said.

Jen Fifield, Reporter for Votebeat Arizona

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