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Maricopa County approves audit of primary voting problems

PHOENIX (AP/KSAZ) -- The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has approved a plan to move forward with an audit of the August 28 primary elections in the county, in which dozens of polling locations didn't open on time.

"I didn't really get what it would take so long," said John Kirchner, who was one of thousands in the Valley who experienced trouble voting on Election Day. "So a guy eventually came in, and the elections committee trying to see what's going on, and he told me that there is a ton of other polling places in the Valley as well they're having this issue, and people are having to wait for even longer."

The board met on Wednesday afternoon to consider spending $200,000 on an independent review of how the county recorder's office handled the elections.

"Clearly, we're at a standstill in who's fault or who's responsibility this was, between the contractors or your office," said Steve Chucri, Chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

Recorder Adrian Fontes has said he takes responsibility for the mistakes that resulted in 62 Phoenix-area polling places opening late because of issues setting up equipment. He initially blamed a contractor.

Fontes has come under heavy scrutiny for his handling of the elections. He previously unseated the former longtime recorder over her handling of the 2016 presidential primary election, when she drastically reduced the number of polling sites, resulting in long lines.

"We have amazing people that work with us, and we did not give them, all of them, the complete training that they would have required to execute very, very well," said Fontes, during the meeting.

The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.