Oct. 26, 2020
by Kat Crockett

Santa Cruz County set up early voting stations in Patagonia from 9a.m-12p.m and at the Sonoita Library from 2p.m -5p.m. on Saturday, 24 October 2020, which had been designated National Early Voting Day. At 3:30p.m, however, the county ran out of ballots for most of Sonoita’s 865 active voters. Unfortunately, the county workers did not notice the shortage until there were no more ballots left.

Patty Garcia and Lupita Moreno, who are not trained poll workers but work for the Recorder’s Office, then contacted Suzie Sainz, County Recorder, who did not arrive with additional ballots until 5:20p.m., 20 minutes after the scheduled closing time. According to Sainz, they had underestimated the number of voters and only sent 14 ballots, one of which had been used in Patagonia that morning. The 13 remaining ballots sent to the Sonoita Library represented only 1.5% of official ballots for the 865 registered voters.

Voters who showed up to vote were told that additional ballots were on the way. According to the county, two voters waited for the ballots to arrive and one said he would vote in November. It was unclear how many people may have been told by others that there were no more ballots and either left or did not participate.