Mohave County elections boss accepts fault in delays

December 6, 2018

The General Election could have gone better in Mohave County.

Employees of the Mohave County Recorder’s Office worked through the night of this year’s general election in an effort to overcome a last-minute delay in counting more than 51,000 early ballots. The Mohave County Board of Supervisors this week sought answers this week, and spoke with Elections Director Alan Tempert about the nearly 36-hour delay.

“Taxpayers are tired of getting ripped off by contractors,” said Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson. “I want to find out if this was the fault of the contractors — this issue stopped the Mohave County Recorder’s Office for 24 hours. God bless them, they made it without missing a beat … but if something happened, right away you’d think the worst. We need to hold people accountable if they’re not doing what we’ve paid them to do.”

According to Tempert, the delay was caused by a change in staff within e-polling contractor Robis Inc. The company has provided software for polling data collection for the county’s past four elections, and Robis has been a reliable partner. With the departure of the company’s Mohave County project manager and a new project manager’s unfamiliarity with the software system this year, complications arose.

“There’s never been or will be a perfect election,” Tempert said. “There’s such a dynamic of things moving, going constantly … we have to trust the people we’ve appointed, or we’re just going to micromanage things. In 2018, Robis worked with us on the primary, and all of the data issues worked out in advance. We lost a day and a half. If someone has something to be accountable for, it’s me … I should have had tests in place. I didn’t, and I should have. I trusted it…(Robis) is a good vendor, and I stand behind them.”

According to Tempert, the elections department didn’t anticipate the sheer number of early voters during this general election, with a 50 percent increase in voter turnout compared to previous gubernatorial elections.

“The problem starts with us,” Johnson said. “I think I’ve gotten my answer.”

Tempert said he already has plans with Robis Inc. to implement a new electronic polling system for the 2020 elections.

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