The Maricopa County Elections Department made another mistake in informing Spanish speakers in Arizona that the general election is Nov. 8 when it is in fact Nov. 6.
Last week, the department made the same mistake on a Spanish-language voter registration card it issued to a Hispanic woman. Yesterday it was on a bookmark the department distributed to Spanish-speaking voters.
Maricopa County’s latest error angered many leaders from various Latino organizations across the state, including members from two large organizations that have registered thousands of Latinos to vote.
One of those organizations is Mi Familia Vota Education Fund. Its State Director Francisco Heredia stated Wednesday that his group is “disappointed and concerned” with the Maricopa County Elections Department’s latest mistake.
“We can expect misinformation from ill-intended organizations or individuals, but not from those supervising the elections,” Heredia stated. “We hope and expect that the County Recorder’s office takes the necessary measures to correct these mistakes.”
Maricopa County launches ‘aggressive’ publicity to Spanish-speaking voters
Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell stated Tuesday that her office regretted making the errors. She also said that claims that her office “would be a party to a dark conspiracy to depress voter turnout among any constituency or ethnic group … is simply a malicious lie.”
“We have dedicated decades of the highest public service to expand voter participation,” she went on to say. “A former President once described the vote as the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice. We agree and our professional careers attest to that high mission.”
Purcell also said her office will be launching “a very aggressive” Spanish language publicity campaign to inform voters that the election is on Nov. 6.
Purcell’s statement came a day after organizers with Promise Arizona in Action, an organization that registered 34,327 new Latino voters this year in Arizona, met with her.
During the meeting, they expressed concerns with her recent statements that they said made it seem like volunteers are not legally allowed to offer voters to pick up and deliver their ballots to the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. The group was also there to deliver 400 petition signatures from people who want her to clarify her statements.
In her statement on Tuesday, Purcell said, “I never said that it is illegal, much less a Class 5 felony, to collect, possess and deliver ballots of voters.”
She clarified that it is a Class 5 felony for people to falsely represent themselves as representatives from the county while picking up ballots from voters.
“Indeed, this office has worked cooperatively with a host of organizations, of all parties and persuasions, to assist voters get their ballots to the polls,” Purcell added. “We applaud the work of Promise Arizona and other groups in their efforts to register new qualified voters and have their ballots counted.”