President Donald Trump unofficially kicks off election week with a West Valley rally at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28.
Trump announced the campaign stop at the Phoenix Goodyear Airport just three days before, as the energetic Republican leader—trailing in the polls to Democrat challenger Joe Biden—continues his bounce back from COVID-19 with a charged campaign schedule.
Trump has emphasized two themes that have emerged: early ballots and voting security. During the first presidential debate, Trump said about mail-in ballots: “This is going to be fraud like you’ve never seen.”
Nationally, with a week remaining before Election Day, more than 60 million voted early—many by mail.
Maricopa County went over the 1 million ballots counted mark Friday, Oct. 23, according to Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes.
While there have been long lines at voting locations across the country, the scene outside the drop-off location at Goodyear City Hall Friday, Oct. 23, was serene.
The parking lot featured generic “vote here” signs. Voters from 20-somethings to seniors casually walked in to place their ballots in a drop box and quickly departed.
While Trump and others have raised concerns about ballot tabulation, West Valley mayors are confident local voting will be safe and secure.
“I have confidence that the Maricopa County Elections Department is doing—and will continue to do—everything they can to ensure that our residents can exercise their right to vote,” Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord said.
“I know that the early voting ballot box at Goodyear City Hall has been well utilized this election. There has been an overwhelming response to the convenience of having a local drop box.”
She added that county representatives retrieve ballots every day “and the process is very secure.”
“Voting is a privilege, so I encourage every registered voter to be sure to turn in those early ballots or go to the polls on Election Day,” Lord added.
Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck seconded Lord’s confidence: “The city clerk’s office works closely with the county Elections Department to ensure protocol is followed for every election.
“Whether you vote in person or drop off your ballot at Buckeye City Hall, you can be sure your vote and the process are secure,” Meck said.
And, added Avondale Mayor Kenn Weise, “I have faith in our democracy and our election system. We’re down to the last few days to the election. I’m encouraging all voters to exercise their right to vote.”
The West Valley View Facebook page asked those who voted if they felt confident their ballots would be correctly processed.
Almost all who responded said they had no worries.
“Voted, mailed, verified, all good,” Lynda Cullor said.
Poiette Jenkins Hedgecock said she voted, “and I signed up with text to track it.”
According to the county Elections Department, “Track your ballot by texting ‘JOIN’ to 628-683 or online at beballotready.vote.”
As the county Elections Department notes, only verified ballots are counted: “Once the signature is verified on the affidavit envelope, it is opened by a bipartisan board and sent to be counted. All uncounted ballots are tracked and reported in the official canvass for each election.”
In-person voting centers, drop boxes and even drive-thru drop boxes will be available through Tuesday, Nov. 3, with locations around the West Valley. (For a complete list, see Page 2.)