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Final Tally: Maricopa County Had Largest Midterm Election Turnout In History

The Maricopa County Elections Department completed its ballot tabulation last week, and Monday the official count was approved. This election marked the largest midterm turnout in county history.

Maricopa County had a 64.5 percent voter turnout for the 2018 election, compared to just 45 percent in 2014. With the big turnout came concerns about emergency voting centers and the time it took to count ballots.

Four emergency voting centers were open in the primary and five during the general election. About 2,800 people used the centers in the primary.

Maricopa Count Record Adrian Fontes said voters determine their own emergencies.

"I don't understand the pushback on that, where the voter just wants to vote. I'm not going to stand between a voter and their vote," he said. "And so, when we have a statute that is widely permissive, then that is up to the voter."

Fontes said tabulation took longer because damaged ballots that could not be read by machines were hand processed, which had not been done in the last two election cycles. There were about 130,000 of those ballots.

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Ariana Bustos was an intern at KJZZ in 2018.