#NoMames, Part Two: Maricopa County Election Officials Commit Yet Another Spanish Ballot Error

Oct 23, 2012
8:46 PM

Last week, we were one of the first outlets outside of Arizona to report about how the Maricopa Country Election Department admitted to having misprinted the wrong date for Election Day on Spanish-language ballots. The story went viral and appeared on several national outlets. It was seen an embarrassing mistake for the county, this year there is a contested race between incumbent Republican sheriff Joe Arpaio, Democratic challenger Paul Penzone, and independent candidate Mike Stauffer.

Today local Arizona media reported that election officials in Maricopa County committed the same error to ballot bookmarks that are used at election centers to remind people of Election Day, and this time they have no idea how many bookmarks were affected. According the a local report, as you can imagine, people are not happy:

Yvonne Reed confirms to ABC15 that bookmarks distributed by the elections department incorrectly listed the date of the general election in Spanish as November 8.

The flip side of the bookmark correctly lists the date in English as November 6.

Reed tells ABC15 the bookmarks were distributed at the three election counters throughout Maricopa County and that the department has no way of knowing exactly how many people received the bookmarks.

Randy Parraz, President of Citizens For A Better Arizona, says the blame lies squarely with Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell.

"It shows she's incompetent and not qualified," said Parraz.

Here is a video of the report:

Tonight we reached out to Carlos Sierra, campaign manager and co-chair for Citizens for Professional Law Enforcement, the group charged with defeating Sheriff Joe Arpaio. When we asked for comment and reaction to this latest error and about Purcell, this is what he told us:

Sheriff Arpaio and his cronies at the Maricopa County Recorder’s office are trying their damnedest to suppress the Hispanic vote in Maricopa County by telling Spanish voters to vote on November 8 rather than the correct date of November 6. Groups such as Adios Arpaio, Promise Arizona, and Citizens for a Better Arizona have worked their hearts out to register more than 36,000 new voters in Maricopa County alone, and once again, Arpaio’s cronies are doing what they can to prevent his defeat. And what does Helen Purcell, the Republican County Recorder have to say about her screw up – “no comment.”

It is amazing to us that of all the things that Maricopa County decides to make a mistake on when it comes to translating voting information from English to Spanish, it is an actual date—which last time we checked, doesn't even need a translation. 6 in Spanish is 6 in English. Who would have known? Welcome to Arpaio Country.

The HuffPost ran an image of the bookmark. Here it is. What do you think?