Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell will not enforce a new election law in the Aug. 30 primary, disappointing Republicans who say it’s necessary to prevent voter fraud. The law prohibits anyone in Arizona — except family members, household members and caregivers — from delivering another person’s ballot to a polling place or election site. Community groups, largely Democratic but some GOP, have collected ballots from voters in the past and delivered them in bulk, often after it’s too late for voters to mail their ballots before Election Day or when voters cannot make it to the polls themselves. Opponents of the practice say it provides an opportunity for voter fraud, although there is no evidence it has occurred.
The new law, signed by Gov. Doug Ducey in March, provides no clear direction about enforcement, and county elections officials apparently have received no formal guidance from state, legislative or party leaders. A lawsuit challenging the statute is ongoing.
Purcell, a Republican, said Maricopa County election workers will accept any ballots delivered to polling places and early-voting sites, including city clerk offices.
“If somebody brings in ballots, there’s a box there for them to put the ballots in. We’re going to process that ballot just like we do anything else,” Purcell said. “We are not the police.”