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Pima officials: 372 residents tried to vote twice in primary

County says they had returned early ballots, tried to vote in person

The Pima County Recorder’s Office has asked the county attorney to investigate 372 people who tried to vote twice in the Sept. 2 primary.

“Each of these voters had already returned their early ballots and we had already turned them over to be counted,” Christopher J. Roads, county registrar of voters, wrote in a Sept. 18 letter to County Attorney Barbara LaWall.

“Subsequently, each of these voters . . . appeared at their polling places on election day and attempted to vote twice in a single election, which could constitute a felony offense,” he said.

Those voters were given provisional ballots when the voter signature rosters at polling places showed they had voted via early ballot, he said.

Overall, poll workers gave out 3,455 provisional ballots at the polls on primary day, of which 2,694 were verified, Roads said.

Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez said Thursday that the number of people seeking to vote twice in the primary is the highest she has seen in any election.

Voters could have forgotten they had voted early and went to their polling place, she said.

“The majority of them are elderly people who requested an early ballot,” Rodriguez said.

Chief County Civil Attorney Christopher Straub said he noticed the number of double-voters Sept. 2 was significantly higher than in past investigations by the County Attorney’s Office.

“Usually we will get less than 100, maybe 20 or 50,” Straub said.

The voters were allowed to vote provisional ballots at the polls because those ballots are checked later for verification or rejection, Rodriguez said.

“We never tell a voter they can’t vote,” Rodriguez said.

Straub said the investigators are interviewing those voters who cast two ballots.

Investigators are looking for voters who may have deliberately tried to cast two ballots, as opposed to those who may have inadvertently done so, he said.

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