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Friday, July 12, 2024 | Back issues
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What Passes for Latino|Outreach in Arizona

PHOENIX (CN) - The Maricopa County Recorder's Office, in a "Spanish-language Voter ID and bookmark," told Spanish-speakers that Election Day is Nov. 8 - two days after the actual Election Day.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell acknowledged the mistake this week in a statement sent on her letterhead.

"Concerning the regrettable error on the Spanish-language Voter ID and bookmark: I wish I could say we never made a mistake in this office. But we do," Purcell, a Republican, said in the statement.

"However, the suggestion that this office would be a party to a dark conspiracy to depress voter turnout among any constituency or ethnic group is contrary to the history, the commitment and ideals of this office, my staff and my life's work. It is simply a malicious lie."

Last week, the Recorder's Office admitted it published the wrong date of the general election on fewer than 50 documents printed in Spanish and distributed in its office.

Purcell issued her statement after meeting with Promise Arizona in Action, which sought clarification of Purcell's alleged statement to CBS 5 that it is a Class 5 felony to be in possession of someone else's ballot, and that people should not give their ballots to anyone offering to pick their ballot up.

Promise Arizona's volunteers "offer to deliver early ballots to the Recorder's Office," "have the permission of the voter, and the ballots are delivered to the Recorder's Office immediately," Petra Falcon, executive director of Promise Arizona, said in a statement.

In her own statement, Purcell said: "First of all, I never said that it is illegal, much less a Class 5 felony, to collect, possess and deliver ballots of voters. Indeed, this office has worked cooperatively with a host of organizations, of all parties and persuasions, to assist voters get their ballots to the polls."

Purcell says her office will launch "a very aggressive Spanish language publicity campaign to make sure everyone knows that the election will be held on Tuesday, November 6."

Maricopa County, whose seat is Phoenix, has been the scene of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's immigration roundups and other actions that led to a federal investigation and dozens of lawsuits.

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