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Oct 12, 2012 7:40 PM by Lorraine Rivera

Record voter turnout expected in Pima County

TUCSON - Voters will head to the polls in 24 days. In Pima County employees at the Elections Office are working around the clock to ensure everything is ready to go for November 6.

Brad Nelson, the elections director, said his staff has been busy preparing the voting booths, and putting together ballots for each of the 288 precincts. He said though the voting machines are older, they work well and are checked by political parties and the Arizona Secretary of State.

"We have begun to look at it but we knew we were just too close to the 2012 election cycle. You don't want to start with something brand new during a very important election like we're coming at now," he said.

There are approximately 486,000 registered voters in Pima County, of those 295,000 are registered to vote by mail.

F. Ann Rodriguez, the Pima County Recorder said early voting began Thursday and as of Friday afternoon 223 people had voted early, "most of these have been coming and voting early; they're all jazzed up about the presidential election. Rodriguez recommends that voters prepare for the lengthy ballots which have about 40 items.

Absentee ballots were mailed beginning Thursday. Nelson has advice for voters who are not voting by mail, "if they are one of those voters who only vote every four years and that last time they voted was 2008 make sure you know that you are registered to vote and where your polling place is because we've changed precinct numbers and we've changed polling places to a large degree."

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