The millions of Maricopa County voters signed up on the Active Early Voting List (AEVL) to receive ballots by mail for the August primary election were recently mailed a 90-day pre-primary packet intended to ensure the Recorder’s Office has current addresses before sending out the ballots.
The 90-day AEVL packet also provides instructions for voters who are not registered as Democrat, Libertarian, or Republican on how to request a ballot for the Democratic or Republican primary (Libertarians have a closed primary).
But several voters have expressed concern that Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer did not take sufficient steps to protect voters’ personal information when designing the packet. Specifically, they point to a card included in the 90-day packet which a voter can mail in to Richer’s office to make changes or to request a primary ballot.
The problem with the design is that it instructs voters to “fold or tear here” before returning the card. However, if a voter tears off the card it will end up in the U.S. Postal system with the voter’s signature in full display.
By contrast, most county recorders use a 90-day packet design with only a “fold here” instruction. This ensures the card is returned to the recorder’s office with a voter’s signature shielded during the mailing process. Such is the case with the design chosen by Cochise County David Stevens.
The Maricopa County packet is also drawing attention once again to complaints that the county’s voter database continues to include the names of outdated registered voters. Several people have posted images on social media of examples of multiple pre-primary packets sent out by Richer’s office in the names of people who have not lived in the area for years.
Several of the postings state the errors have been reported to the Recorder’s Office in the past with no change.
My daughter has not lived at our house for 15 years. We have sent in address corrections twice for her, but once again this comes in the mail today. Incompetent. pic.twitter.com/q9t09h3dij
— Andrew Jackson (@DrAndrewJackson) May 10, 2022
There is also the concern nothing will change even if this year’s packets are returned as “not at this address.”
Got card(s) from Maricopa County re: primary ballot prefs.
Card(s) as AGAIN, I rec'd them for my 3 kids who have since registered elsewhere, years ago, one out of state!
It says "Return to Sender" if not at residence.
How do I know if they'll be purged or USED?
— Jellenne🇺🇸🌵🌞 (@jellen805) May 8, 2022
One of those former voters shared her story with Arizona Daily Independent, noting a packet was sent to an address in Arizona despite the fact she moved out of state several years ago. In addition, the voter name on the mailing is one she has not legally used in years.
The voter also noted that when she received a jury duty summons a few years ago who notified the Maricopa County courts of her name change and that she lived out of state.
“I don’t know how I’m not removed” from Maricopa County’s active early voting list, she said.