Ballot Mix-Up Raises Red Flags

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A ballot mix-up in Payson Precinct 7 raised red flags for a pair of voters.

Judy Perham and her daughter went to vote and discovered a numerical listing discrepancy in their voting booth ballot guides. They brought the matter to the attention of the poll marshal and the county elections office was alerted.

In a race such as that for Congressional District One with numerous candidates, state law requires that the ballot book listings of the candidate names be rotated to give each candidate the top listing on the ballot.

Each precinct has its own ballot book in its voting booths, according to David Rogers in the Gila County elections office.

Rogers said the problem was that Payson Precinct 7 had one machine with Payson Precinct 8's ballot book.

He said the elections office is awaiting instructions from Deputy County Attorney Mark Gunning on how to proceed. He said the elections staff does not know what options are available to correct the problem at this point.

Rogers said there were no Precinct 7 ballot books mistakenly loaded into Precinct 8 machines, so it appears the discrepancy in the ballot numbers were isolated to just the single machine in Precinct 7.

One possible solution would be to double check the questioned ballots, using the Payson 7 machines, and do a recount, Rogers speculated.

Asked if throwing out those ballots was a possibility, Rogers said he did not know, but thought it seemed unlikely.

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