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New voting centers to be tested in Pima County mock election

New voting centers to be tested in Pima County mock election

Pima County will put its new in-person voting model and latest voting equipment on public display in a June 24 mock election.

The mock election will feature the county's shift from precinct voting to vote centers. The new system will allow voters to cast a ballot at any of the county’s 129 voting locations instead of a single precinct as done previously, officials said in a press release.

The intent of the mock election is to address questions and concerns about the change and to show the set up of the centers will be like the previous precincts, Constance Hargrove, Pima County's elections director, told the Sentinel.

“So to take the mystery out of what everything looks like is the purpose of the mock election,” she said.

The switch is intended to make voting more convenient and cost effective now that fewer people vote in-person, and to decrease the number of provisional ballots, Hargrove said.

The county’s adoption of vote centers, which other Arizona counties already use, comes nearly two years after former President Trump and other figures spread false claims about the integrity of 2020 election.

Security measures are the same as they were in precincts, such as ensuring that ballots and technology inside the center are uncompromised, Hargrove told the Sentinel.

When voters arrive at one of the centers later this year they’ll be electronically checked in by an election official. Individuals will then receive a printed out ballot for their correct precinct based on the county recorder’s latest voter registration data.

The new voting equipment is meant to ensure the new system is secure.

“In order to make sure that individuals are not voting more than once, we had to purchase electronic pollbooks, which we'll be implementing in August for the first time as well,” Hargrove said.

The communication of the pollbooks is encrypted.

Prior to the August primaries, the public can experience the new system and participate in the mock election at the Abrams Health Center, 3950 S. Country Club Rd., from 9-11 a.m.

Primary elections will be held on August 2, with voter registration ending on July 5.

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