Minor Glitches in Maricopa County Mar Primary Day at the Polls

No hackers, no hour-long lines, and no real problems — that's the message from the Maricopa County Elections Department so far today as state voters go to the polls for the primary election.

If you haven't voted yet, it should be smooth sailing. Polls close at 7 p.m. Locate your polling place by clicking here.

A few glitches arose this morning, but nothing like the chaos back in March for the county's presidential preference election, in which some voters waited in line for up to five hours. Following that debacle, which resulted from a shortage of polling places, the county added more voting sites for this election, for a total of 645.

The only excitement this morning came when six polling places failed to open at 6 a.m. as scheduled, reports Elizabeth Bartholomew, spokeswoman for the county's election office.

Only one poll worker showed up to the polling center at Glendale High School at 6 a.m., preventing the location from opening.

"We had to rush our own employees from downtown," Bartholomew says. The troubleshooters opened the location by 6:30. That was the latest any Maricopa County polling place opened, she says.

Openings at the other five tardy locations were delayed only for minutes. The Town of Guadalupe's town clerk didn't show up to open a polling place there, resulting in a seven-minute delay, Bartholomew says. Minor delays in opening were reported at Kino Junior High School in Mesa, the American Legion in Tempe, a school in Anthem, and the north Phoenix Covenant of Grace Christian Church, according to Bartholomew.

You won't find Trump, Clinton, or marijuana on the ticket if you vote today — those choices will appear on the general election ballot on Tuesday, November 8. But today's primary includes several interesting races, including:

• U.S. Senate: Three Republican competitors are trying to oust incumbent John McCain from the seat he has held since 1986. Kelli Ward, a doctor and former lawmaker, will likely come the closest, though most observers expect to see McCain face off in a general-election battle with Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick.

• Six-term Sheriff Joe Arpaio squares off against former Mesa cop and longtime Arpaio foe Dan Saban.

• 1st Congressional District: Will Paul Babeu come out on top against a crowded field of GOP competitors that includes Ken Bennett, Gary Kiehn, Wendy Rogers, and Shawn Redd?

• 2nd Congressional District: Which Democrat will win the right to try to knock Martha McSally from her post — TV reporter Victoria Steele or physician Matt Heinz?

• 5th Congressional District: American Family sweepstakes winner and ultraconservative Andy Biggs, Don "Show Me the Money, Taxpayers" Stapley, GoDaddy girl Christine Jones, and some dude named Justin Olson are fighting for a seat in Washington, D.C., that will essentially be decided today.

• Three open seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission: This agency makes changes that affect your life and your wallet — namely, it oversees public utilities and what they can charge you. Democrats needn't fret; they only have two choices for the three slots in today's election. Republicans have to choose among five candidates.

• Metro-area state legislature seats: Veteran reporter Mary Jo Pitzl of the Arizona Republic had a good story earlier this month that details several of the more-watchable races among wanna-be lawmakers.

May your favorite candidates win.
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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.

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