The Maricopa County Elections Department had to send some voters in Peoria a second ballot after one of the candidates for city council was inadvertently left off the ballot.
The problem is, the second ballot didn't include candidate Ken Krieger's name either.
"We looked at the proof, and we okayed the proof for the second mailing, which went back to the printer," county elections spokeswoman Yvonne Reed tells New Times. "The printer then mailed the same old ballot with the incorrect information."
The county elections department admits fault for the first misprinted ballot, which only listed the other two candidates for city council in Peoria's Mesquite district.
The error stemmed from Krieger being one of about 40 candidates whose candidacy was subject to a court challenge.
"When we got the notices as to who would be on the ballot and who wouldn't, the elections director (Karen Osborne) inadvertently left his name off," Reed says. "That was the first mistake."
The elections department made the decision to send out the second ballot, along with an explanation that a candidate was missing from the first ballot. Well, the candidate was missing from the second ballot too, as the printer mistakenly came back with the original ballot again.
Reed says the elections department is waiting for the City of Peoria to determine what to do next. An emergency city council meeting has been scheduled for today at 11 a.m.
Reed tells us there are about six options that have been floated for the city to decide on.
The 2012 elections didn't exactly run smoothly for the county elections department either. During that election cycle, some voting materials -- not the ballots themselves -- included the incorrect election date in Spanish, but the correct date in English.
The department was also subject to protests by activists who stormed the county elections building demanding that votes be counted in a timely manner.
UPDATE 12:27 p.m.: The council decided to have the county send out another ballot that only contains the city council race, and they're going to have "remove vote locations" set up so people can vote on this race in-person. That was passed on a 3-2 vote.
However, Vice Mayor Ron Aames pointed out the main problem with that: If people already sent in their early ballots, and for whatever reason decide not to vote using this new ballot, then those voters really only chose between two candidates instead of all three.
Carl Swenson, Peoria's city manager, described the choice as picking what's "least bad," because none of the options were ideal.
The other options considered included just sending out a third complete ballot, requiring all voting at a polling location, and setting up a special election.
UPDATE 12:32 p.m.: Krieger announced at the city council meeting that he's filed a federal lawsuit seeking a special election.
"I'm deeply concerned with the options presented today," Krieger said, calling the council's options a violation of voter rights.
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