Early Voters See Long Lines, Wait Times At Phoenix-Area Polling Locations

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - 5:01pm
Updated: Thursday, November 3, 2016 - 8:29am
Casey Kuhn/KJZZ

Elections officials have been worried about long lines on Election Day. This after last March when the number of polling places was cut and voters waited hours in lines. But now voters trying to avoid those Election Day lines are finding themselves once again frustrated and waiting.

Workers at the Glendale early-voting location helped corral voters into a line that stretches through the small building and back around to beginning. There, four workers, two computers and one printer tried to accommodate the 80-plus people already in line to vote.

Stacey Schulz waited more than two hours to vote. So why did she come to vote early?

“In about an hour in I was wondering that," she said. "But at that point, it’s like, do you want to come back and do it all over again and will the lines be longer on Tuesday?”

Maricopa County Recorder’s Office spokeswoman Elizabeth Bartholomew said Glendale isn’t the only city with long voting lines. Tempe and Scottsdale saw hour-long lines, and Bartholomew said there are 25 different locations early voters can choose from.

“If voters are seeing that these lines are too long for them, they can certainly go to any of the other early voting locations or wait until Election Day and vote at their assigned polling place,” she said.

Bartholomew said the Glendale location will get an extra computer and two more staff members Thursday, and all early-voting locations will get extra staff Friday.

She said this year's early voters are turning out in higher numbers than past years.

“People might not want to deal with Election Day, they may not want to deal with any kind of voters there or candidates, so I think they want to get this done and out of the way and so they don’t have to worry about it on Election Day," Bartholomew said.

Fifty-seven percent of early ballots requested have been returned, and the recorder’s office said there are plans to address any long lines on Election Day.

Voting Locations

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