Roughly 140,000 registered voters in Arizona’s Maricopa County did not receive their voter identification cards ahead of a special congressional election on Tuesday.
The voters are in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, where there is an election to replace Republican Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned in December over sexual misconduct allegations.
County election officials told the Arizona Republic that registration cards had not been mailed out since December, the same month Franks resigned. People can still vote without them, but without receiving them, they might not be aware that they’re eligible to vote, or where they should go to vote.
The race is being watched nationally to see if a Democrat can win in a historically GOP district, similar to Democrat Conor Lamb’s win last month in Pennsylvania.
Maricopa County officials blamed the registration card delivery mess on a “printing delay,” according to the Republic, which first reported the issue.
The Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, which is led by Democrat Adrian Fontes, said the registration cards delay was just “little hiccup in printing.”
“It’s not that big of an impact on voters because we have redundancies in our system,” Fontes told ThinkProgress. “Every voter already got either a ballot in the mail or they got a sample ballot in the mail,” Fontes went on to say.
Fontes said his office would send an email to voters who did not receive registration cards. But not all voters have an email address on file, according to the Republic.
The irony is that Arizona was one of the first states to implement voter ID laws. From Think Progress:
Arizona was one of the first states in the country to enact a non-photo voter ID law when a ballot measure was approved by voters in November 2004. Under the law, the state must take steps to ensure that all eligible voters have an acceptable form of ID. According to the secretary of state’s office, “a county recorder must issue a voter ID card to any new registrant or an existing registrant who updates his or her name, address or political party preference.”
Registered voters will still be able to vote—as long as they know when the election is and where to go.
Polls released in the weeks ahead of the election suggested Republican Debbie Lesko was the favorite. ABC 15 Arizona found Lesko leading by 10 points, 53 to 43 percent. But a poll from Emerson College found Lesko’s Democratic opponent, physician Hiral Tipirneni, was leading by one point.