With the general election less than 50 days away, the Yuma County Recorder's Office is preparing for an election impacted by a global pandemic, misinformation, and voter insecurity.
"Misinformation, in essence, would discourage voters from participating, and really confuse voters and then they may choose not to vote," said Yuma County Recorder Robyn Stallworth Poquette on this episode of Arizona Edition. "And that is a very unfair approach."
Stallworth-Poquette says there is misinformation about when early ballots are counted, the security of early ballots, double-voting, and abou the U.S. Postal Service. The County addresses each of these concerns on Arizona Edition.
For one, Stallworth-Poquette says early ballots are counted as they come in. Though the actual votes cannot be viewed until Election Night, there is a record of the vote immediately.
But Stallworth-Poquette says concerns about foreign interference are real. But she expresses faith in the Department of Homeland Security to handle them. "I think those are real threats."
In Yuma County, thousands of early ballots will go out during the first weeks of October. If a ballot is disqualified it's typically because the voter doesn't include the ballot in the envelope, forgets to sign the affidavit signature or their signature doesn't match the one the recorder's office has on file.
But through a two-step process, the county will contact the voter to verify any discrepancies and has until the fifth day after the election to remedy the concern.
"I feel very confident we have procedures in place to mitigate risk for states and counties," Stallworth-Poquette said. "I think misinformation is discouraging voters or confusing them is just as much a risk as those larger, larger risks you hear about on national news."