Democratic Club Welcomed Maricopa County Elections Director

Charlotte Krause, program chair for the PebbleCreek Democratic Club, and Scott Jarret, director of the Maricopa County Elections Department (photo by Gillian Driscoll)

Maricopa County Elections Director Scott Jarret was the guest speaker at the December meeting of the PebbleCreek Democratic Club. Director Jarret has many years’ experience with Maricopa County and is a four-year veteran of the Coast Guard. He is a graduate of Arizona State University.

Now that we are in an election year, club members were keen to hear more about the Maricopa County Elections department and how they prepare and conduct such an enormous political event.

Director Jarret shared important information with members that will help them navigate the voting system and also to understand how the Elections Department manages this mammoth undertaking.

Maricopa County is the second largest voting district in the country and the largest county in a swing state. It includes 24 cities. This means a huge amount of planning, communication, and information must be dealt with by the County Elections Department. The director, as primary coordinator, has many responsibilities and tasks.

One important task is ensuring the safety and security of voters and poll workers. In that regard, the department works closely with the Maricopa County Sheriff to make sure polling stations are adequately protected. However, in-person voting on Election Day in the County represents the lowest number of votes varying from 8% to 16%. The majority of Maricopa County voters cast their votes by mail totaling 48% to 51% of the votes. Another 3% to 10% are early voters, while 30% to 40% drop off their ballots.

In 2023, $15 million was spent on improvements to the voting system. Voters should be aware that there are voting assistance programs, for example large print and Braille ballots. The Elections Department makes every effort to make voting accessible to everyone.

Director Jarret encouraged members to get involved in the voting process. Poll workers and observers are needed and anyone can volunteer. His presentation was met with enthusiasm by the membership and we thank him for his time and information. We also thank him for all his hard work on behalf of voters.

The PebbleCreek Democratic Club meets on the first Wednesday of the month in the Tuscany Falls Clubhouse Ballroom. Social hour is at 6 p.m. and the meeting starts at 7 p.m. The meetings are always open and all are welcome. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, Feb. 7.