Mindy Riesenberg

Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Arizona residents ease into voting in Tuesday’s primary

PHOENIX – So far, so good. The polls were quiet Tuesday morning for Arizona’s primary election as voters across the Phoenix area and elsewhere in Arizona cast ballots for their Republican or Democratic choice for Congress, statewide and local offices ranging from the Senate to Maricopa County Sheriff.

More than 700 polling places in Maricopa County made in-person voting smooth so far, compared to the slender number of polling places in the presidential preference election in March, when a lack of polling places led to long lines and angry voters.

“We’ve had no major issues so far,” Elizabeth Bartholomew, spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office.

“Six polling places opened a little late because some facility workers hadn’t arrived in time, but it didn’t cause any problems,” she said. Bartholomew estimated those were open within 30 minutes of the 6 a.m. start time for voting.

More than 423,000 early ballots have already been delivered, and Bartholomew expects more to arrive today, including those dropped off at polling sites.

Today’s primary election, which also will decide some city council races, will determine party lineups for November’s general election.

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain and his wife, Cindy, cast their votes around 8 a.m. at Mountain View Christian Church near 28th Street and Campbell in Phoenix, to the cheers of McCain staffers and the heckling of one lone Kelli Ward supporter.

McCain, a veteran lawmaker who is in a hotly contested race with Ward for the Republican candidacy for U.S. Senate, didn’t take questions from the media but thanked his interns for their hard work during his campaign.

Either McCain or Ward, who are in a five-person race, are expected to face Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, the frontrunner in the Democratic primary, in November.

Dan Saban, former Buckeye police chief and previous candidate for Maricopa County sheriff, is again challenging Sheriff Joe Arpaio in one of the most watched races in the region.

The polls close at 7 p.m.