Helen Purcell: Accusation About Spanish Errors a "Malicious Lie," Says Office Will Publicize Election Date of Martes, 6 de Noviembre

Photo by Matthew Hendley
Activists brought a calendar to the county recorder's office yesterday to make an issue of Spanish-language errors.
As our colleague Stephen Lemons reported last night, Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell set the record straight about the early-ballot collections -- it is not illegal for someone to deliver your early ballot to the elections office for you.

Purcell also addressed the multiple errors on county elections office materials, which gave the wrong date of the election in Spanish only -- and she doesn't sound happy about people claiming it was some sort of voter-suppression tactic.

See also:
-Maricopa County Elections Office Had More Materials With Wrong Election Date

-Maricopa County Elections Department Prints Wrong Date in Spanish
-Helen Purcell Corrects KPHO's Error, Chad Willems Issues Voter-Suppression Robocall
-Helen Purcell Urged to End Confusion Over CBS 5 Early Ballot Report
-CBS 5 Report Regarding Early Ballots Incorrect, Sets Off Firestorm (w/Update)

Purcell issued a press release addressing all the issues that have been raised with her office recently, and here's her statement on the Spanish errors:

Concerning the regrettable error on the Spanish-language Voter ID and bookmark: I wish I could say we never made a mistake in this office. But we do. However, the suggestion that this office would be a party to a dark conspiracy to depress voter turnout among any constituency or ethnic group is contrary to the history, the commitment and ideals of this office, my staff and my life's work. It is simply a malicious lie. We have dedicated decades of the highest public service to expand voter participation. A former President once described the vote as the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice. We agree and our professional careers attest to that high mission.

As Randy Parraz and Citizens for a Better Arizona called for yesterday in their trip to the elections office, Purcell says the elections office "will be launching a very aggressive Spanish language publicity campaign to make sure everyone knows that the election will be held on Tuesday, November 6. Martes, 6 de noviembre."

"Such a message already appears prominently, in Spanish and English, on the Maricopa County Recorder's and Elections Department Websites," the press release says.

Will this reverse the thinking of those who think the elections office is trying to suppress the Hispanic vote? Probably not, considering it's already been exploited for a national audience of left-wingers -- as Rachel Maddow declared the error a "dark political art" -- and as our highly unscientific reader poll this morning indicates, a large majority of our readers think those errors are "suspicious."

Lydia Guzman -- an ex-Secretary of State's office employee who accompanied CBA on their trip to the elections office yesterday -- said at least three or four people must have approved the erroneous materials before they were printed.

However, the elections office has insisted from day one that there was nothing malicious, and that it was, indeed, an error.

"Your vote is your voice," Purcell's press release says. "We take seriously our responsibility to enable you to use it."

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If there is only one skill the position of county recorder requires is ACCURACY. And Mrs. Purcell failed on that skill not only once but TWICE with potentially devastating consequences for Hispanic voters. She has lost credibility among them. $30.000 to fix the error can only afford to buy a few radio commercials and paper ads and it's just 10 days to Election Day. Reprinting all brochures with only 10 days to Election Day will also be ineffective. How can someone in Mrs. Purcell’s position can allow such huge error to happen? Her specific job is to care for those errors NOT to happen. Not even once!


Once may be an "innocent mistake."  But twice?  Hmmmm...


@justamexican That was a good one. LOL


I'm willing to accept that this is a mistake (for now), but it points to sloppiness on the part of the County Recorders office.  This is the same office that is in charge of protecting the integrity of the voting process.  If their proof-reading skills are such that they twice didn't pick up this discrepency (when it was side by side with the correct date), what else are they failing to proof read?  Can they mistakenly lose a whole precinct full of ballots?  Can they mistakenly fail to properly calibrate the OCR ballot readers?  What other mistakes are they making that we can't see that impact the integrity of the elections that they oversee?  Is a full audit by an outside auditor appropriate (or necessary) at ths point?



 And if New Times still used Disqus instead of Livefyre I could esit and correkt my postt.

(please note my sarcasm).



 I have - but I try to avoid making the same mistake twice.  Oh, and I'm not responsible for tabulating votes in Maricopa County for, say, the election of the President of the United States.  But I'm not responsible for the implementation of democracy so my mistakes probably don't end up disenfranchising people.  And since Republicans are trying to suppress the vote all over the country this year, every mistake that has the potential suppress the vote or disenfranchise people disserves just a little more scrutiny and will be just a little more suspect.

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