Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes defends 2018 election organization effort in town hall

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- The 2018 election is in the rearview mirror by now, but they were front and center in Maricopa County on Thursday night.

The primary and the general elections had their problems in 2018, but Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes backed his office's effort, during a packed town hall meeting.

There were plenty of passionate people in attendance who care about their civic duty, and wanted to make sure things will go smoothly, moving forward. Fontes said despite some hiccups, feedback was positive after the election, especially from those who decided to vote early. For many in the room, however, it's a case of perception versus reality, with Fontes believing that things went well, considering it was a record turn out.

The August primary had far more problems than the November general election. In August, 62 polling places weren't ready to accept voters at the beginning of the day. By November, the issues diminished greatly, but many Republican groups challenged the way county recorders, including Fontes, verified signatures and allowed mail-in ballots to be dropped off in person on Election Day.

More than 200,000 Arizonans dropped off their mail-in ballots in November, but there is a bill proposed right now to restrict how vote by mail ballots are returned. Senate Bill 1046 would require early vote by mail ballots to be mailed, and not dropped off in person. That bill passed its first committee on Thursday.