It has been 18 years and 97 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.
On Tuesday, March 22, 2016 the voters of Maricopa County flocked en masse to county polling locations in the states’ presidential primary election. It turned out to be a nightmare for many voters. I was alerted to the problem when several blog readers called and told me they waited 3 hours to cast a ballot. Here is a photo taken by one of the voters.
A little reality is in order. On October 15, 2015 the County Recorder’s Office announced that Maricopa County had more than 2 million registered voters. They proudly declared that Maricopa County has the third-highest registration rate in the country. Maricopa County is just behind Los Angeles County, California and Harris County, Texas. We witnessed state after state announcing that voter turnouts for presidential primaries have been record breaking, ranging in a 40% to 80% increase since 2012.
The County Recorder’s Office had about 5 months to prepare for the perfect storm of an increase in the number of registered voters and an expected increase in turnout of anywhere from 40% to 80%. Did they prepare adequately? Apparently not.
Glendale has about 50 precincts. Do you know how many polling locations there were in Glendale? Two…just two, the Happy Valley Church at 24220 N. 43rd Avenue and the Hope Chapel at 17417 N. 63rd Avenue. Both locations were in North Glendale. I guess the rest of Glendale was chopped liver. Glendale has a population of nearly 250,000 and an estimated 70,000 registered voters. Somehow two polling locations in North Glendale don’t seem to serve the public very well.
If you think Peoria had it better you would be correct. With a smaller population and smaller number of registered voters Peoria had 3 polling locations. The County Recorder’s Office had a total of 60 polling locations for a county with a population of 4.09 million and a self-proclaimed registration of over 2 million voters. That means each polling location in the county had to process an estimated 33,000 voters at each of its 60 locations. Granted some locations had more and some had less activity. However, it doesn’t seem that any of the locations would have the capacity to handle 33,000 voters at the rate of 2,750 voters per hour. Thank goodness for Early Voting ballots or there might have been riots. Many voters, like me and my family, used our Permanent Early Voting ballots. That would have taken some of the pressure away from the polling locations. However, there’s nothing that discourages a voter more than waiting hours to vote. What was the County Recorder’s Office thinking?
If you voted today, what was your experience at your polling location? Send a comment and I’ll make sure it is shared with my readers.
© Joyce Clark, 2016
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