Voters warned: Be careful who you give your ballot

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Voters warned: Be careful who you give your ballot

CREATED Jun 1, 2012

Reporter: Craig Smith

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It has been a hard fought election for Congressional District Eight.  Now Pima County's top elections official is raising a serious warning:  Watch who you hand your mail-in ballot to--to make sure your vote actually arrives.
Early voting is dominating this campaign---and most of the votes are mail ins.  Of all the people qualified to vote in Congressional District Eight---33 percent have already voted though voting day's not until June 12th.
Now Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez says she's hearing from voters worried because strangers have called or even shown up at front doors offering to turn in their ballots.

She says, "You should not be giving it, your voted ballot to a total stranger because who's going to guarantee that ballot will ever get to my office?"
She says it's easy to use public records to learn who's received an early ballot, which party they're in and how to contact them.

"It's come up in past elections.  It's very aggressive in this election."  Craig:  More so than in previous times?  I think because it's concentrated.  There's only one candidate race up for election so all the energy and focus is focused on this one."
The Pima Republican Party website asks for volunteers to help collect early ballots, but executive director Linda White says they don't approach people for their ballots.  They wait for voters to call the party for a ballot pick up. They wear credentials, and give the voter a receipt.
KGUN9 Reporter Craig Smith said: "One of the things the Recorder was concerned about was people just showing up at someone's door, unsolicited, saying, hey, can I take your ballot.  Any of that going on through the Republicans?

Linda White: "Absolutely not through the Republican Party.  We're all credentialed and if I was a registered voter and someone came to my door and asked to take my ballot I certainly wouldn't give it to them without being credentialed or having called to have someone pick my ballot up."
KGUN9 News reached Pima Democratic chair Jeff Rogers by phone.  He says the only way Democrats may deliver someone's ballot is if while knocking on doors they meet someone who asks them to turn in their vote.  He says if that happens they enter the information in a log to document the ballot transfer.
Friday June 1 was the last day to order a mail-in ballot.  The County Recorder recommends putting it in the mail by Friday June 8 so it arrives in time to be counted by June 12.

If for some reason you can't mail in Ann Rodriguez says make sure you ask someone you know and really trust to take care of it.

If you did turn over a ballot to someone and you're worried it was not turned in you can check your ballot status through the Recorder's website or by calling the office at 724-4350.