March 4, 2021 (Phoenix) —The Maricopa County Elections Department is being nationally recognized for its innovative Vote Center wait time feature, providing voters a convenient way to search and find Vote Centers online.
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission named the Maricopa County Elections Department a 2020 Clearinghouse ‘Clearie’ Award winner in the Outstanding Innovations in Elections category for creatively improving election administration while advancing new and innovative concepts.
During the 2020 elections, Maricopa County moved to a Vote Center model (vote-anywhere sites) and came up with an innovative solution to allow voters to quickly search for voting locations and view wait times at those locations.
The Elections Department and the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office developed a unique webpage, Locations.Maricopa.Vote, which allowed voters to enter any Maricopa County address and find a convenient Vote Center, ballot drop box, or drive-through drop box location nearby. The site also included estimated wait times and estimated number of voters at each location. Voters could filter by city, date, locations that were currently open, drop box locations and more.
“This innovative website was a critical piece of our effort to improve the voter experience in the 2020 elections," said Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers, District 1. "In the face of a pandemic, with voters participating in record numbers, the site allowed people to plan ahead to make a safe voting choice that best fit their needs.”
The ability for voters to plan ahead also contributed to low wait times during the 2020 General Election, averaging just under a three minute wait time at locations on Election Day.
“Every day I am impressed by the hard work, dedication, and innovation demonstrated by the team at the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office and Elections Department,” said Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer. “Locations.Maricopa.Vote was a great innovation that provided helpful information to voters during the 2020 General Election. The success of the website required input from individuals across the organization, and I am proud of the team for winning a ‘Clearie’ award. We are grateful to the Election Assistance Commission for recognizing this innovative project serving Maricopa County voters.”
In addition to the features for voters, the county also implemented cybersecurity measures on the page to ensure it could securely facilitate more than 2.12 million page views during the November General Election.