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Record number of early ballots pushes Pima County recorders office to its limits

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TUCSON - This year there has been a record number of early ballots turned in, resulting in a massive increase in the workload for those at the Pima County recorders office.

The recorders office mailed out over 500,000 ballots starting October 7th, now 11 days later they've already had nearly 200,000 returned.

They're saying the sheer volume is the cause of any delays, but their process will have everything done come election day.

When asked how this election year compares to 2016, Pima County recorder F. Ann Rodriguez said there is no comparison and that they're much farther along at this point than she has ever seen.

"The one that is a surprise to us really, the biggest one is the walk-in early voting site. Our first day we had lines, that has never happened before, and then we had lines for people just dropping their ballot off," said Rodriguez.

Right now workers are scanning and verifying signatures on early ballots, they cross reference signatures of each individual by hand, using signatures from the MVD and your ballot.

Once that test is passed your ballot is prepped for the elections department to count your vote which will start on October 20th.

If you have not received your ballot or have a problem with it, Rodriguez says:

"If they have an issue with their ballot they need to call us, posting it on Facebook isn't gonna solve the issue."

For those still waiting on a notification that your ballot has been received, they are able to verify about 1,800 signatures an hour, which comes out to around 25,000 per day.

They say because of the large amount of ballots to go through it has been taking longer, but they want to assure the public that their ballot is as safe as ever.

"We're far out enough on the election that we'll have time to catch up on this. That's why the point of this was so the public feels secure in the voting process, it's just a huge volume all at once," said Rodriguez.

Despite the increased work load due to so many ballots being sent in early they still say that the earlier you can get them in, the better.

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Mark Mingura

Mark Mingura joined KVOA as a Multi Media Journalist in October 2019. Originally from the valley and with ties to Tucson, Mark is excited to get back to his home state and tell the stories of the Old Pueblo.

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