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electionlineWeekly — September 1, 2016

Table of Contents

 III. Primary Updates

Compared to the presidential primary back in March, things were relatively quiet during Arizona’s state and federal primary this week, although that doesn’t mean it was without incident.

The biggest storyline out primary day is the state’s new $750,000 results reporting website was unable to keep up with demand and those attempting to use the site were often greeted with an error message instead of election results. A spokesman for the secretary of state’s office said that while it was unclear if website traffic caused problems, there were issues uploading files from some county recorders.

In Maricopa County, an election worker mistakenly left a ballot bag at a polling place in Glendale. The bag, with its security seal still in place, was discovered Wednesday morning.

Also in Maricopa County, while the race is still close and there are ballots still to be counted, long-time Recorder Helen Purcell is currently behind in her efforts to get re-elected.

And while many people may think the 2016 election cycle has gone to the dogs, in Phoenix that was literally the case. When poll workers arrived at one polling place they were greeted by a pack of dogs. The dogs were removed by a maintenance worker before voters began arriving.

Also in Phoenix, voting was briefly halted when police evacuated a polling place while searching for a suspect in a domestic violence incident.

Things weren’t so sunny in some parts of the Sunshine State as voters headed to the polls on Tuesday, although the major impacts of a predicted tropical storm failed to materialize on Tuesday. Although the weather didn’t cause many problems, there were some issues that rained on Florida’s primary parade.

In Broward County, early voting results were posted to the county’s website about 40 minutes before the polls closed at 7 p.m. Because it is a felony to release results while voters are still casting ballots, county prosecutors are now reviewing how it happened.

Seminole County voters in at least seven different precincts were told that they had already voted when they showed up Tuesday morning even though they had not. Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Mike Etrell said human error caused the problem: someone did not properly code the iPads used for check-in. The iPads were stuck on the March election. "It's really an anomaly for this one election," Etrell told WESH.

Officials in Polk County had to fire an election worker on the spot after the poll worker told an independent voter that they were not allowed to cast a ballot.

A software glitch delayed the vote count in Lake County for several hours. While early voting results were posted as soon as the polls closed, primary day results did not start posting till about 9 p.m.

Results were also late in coming in St. Lucie County and as you can imagine, social media went a bit nuts.

Races in several counties will go through recounts in the coming days due to razor-thin margins of victory including a 5-vote margin and a 9-vote margin.

And in a case of headlines colliding, one polling place in Miami had to be moved at the last minute from the city’s botanical garden to the City Hall because the area was undergoing mosquito-spraying to combat the recent Zika outbreak.

Residents of Guam went to the polls to cast their primary ballots on Saturday. According to Maria Pangelinan, executive director of the Guam Election Commission, although there were some issues, overall things went well this weekend.

Some voters did experience some confusion in the Dededo and Yigo precincts because the precincts were broken up to avoid overcrowding, but they weren’t split by location, instead they were split by last name and that created some confusion.

During counting one ballot counter went down and about 1,000 ballots were spoiled due to crossover voting.