Jen Fifield is a reporter for Votebeat. She previously covered Maricopa County and Phoenix for The Arizona Republic, including the high-profile review of the county’s 2020 election. Prior to that, she covered politics and government for local newspapers in Maryland and state policy for Stateline, a news service run by The Pew Charitable Trusts. She has won several regional press awards in Arizona and Maryland for her investigative, feature, politics and education reporting. Jen is a Phoenix native and graduated from Arizona State University’s Cronkite School.
Cochise County backtracks on proposal for full hand-count of ballots in midterm election
By: Jen Fifield/Votebeat - October 27, 2022
Cochise County will not hand-count all ballots cast in the midterm election, as its officials seriously considered as recently as Monday, but will instead increase the number of ballots to be hand-counted under the usual, state-prescribed audit. The county supervisors approved a plan Monday to expand the hand-count audit, giving the impression that they would […]
Secretary of State’s Office threatens lawsuit if Cochise County conducts hand count of ballots
By: Jen Fifield/Votebeat - October 21, 2022
The Arizona Secretary of State’s Office is threatening to sue Cochise County if it moves forward with a hand count of all ballots in the midterm election. State Elections Director Kori Lorick sent a letter Wednesday to the county supervisors saying the office agrees with the Cochise County Attorney’s Office and state Legislative Council that, […]
Up to 1,000 Arizona voters were mistakenly sent ballots with only federal races. Here’s why and what’s next.
By: Jen Fifield/Votebeat - October 20, 2022
Arizona election officials are reviewing the records of 1,000 voters who may have been mistakenly sent a ballot containing only federal races. They plan to let affected voters know they received the wrong ballot and a full ballot is on the way, with state and local races included. The secretary of state’s office announced the […]
‘Read the fine print’: Small text size on Maricopa County’s massive ballots worries voter advocates
By: Jen Fifield/Votebeat - October 18, 2022
Voter advocates are warning it will be hard for Maricopa County voters to read and understand their midterm ballots, because the county is using small text sizes to accommodate an extraordinary number of election contests. The various text sizes on the county’s 20-inch-long ballots go as small as 7.5 points, well below the 10-point or […]
Hand-counting of ballots in Cochise County deemed illegal
By: Jen Fifield/Votebeat - October 12, 2022
Supervisors in Cochise County said Tuesday they are intent on voting on a proposal to hand-count all ballots cast in November’s election, despite repeated warnings from their lawyer that the plan would be illegal. Deputy Cochise County attorney Christine Roberts repeatedly told the supervisors that state law does not give them the authority to conduct […]
Hand-counting ballots would cause ‘downright chaos,’ experts say
By: Jen Fifield/Votebeat - October 11, 2022
Cochise County officials are considering hand-counting all ballots cast by the county’s 87,000 voters this election, a radical measure for a county of its size that election experts say is also problematic and unnecessary. A hand count would produce inaccurate results, confuse voters, and consume extensive time, money, and labor, said C.Jay Coles, senior policy […]
Trump allies have interviewed nearly 200 election officials to probe for weaknesses
By: Jen Fifield/Votebeat - September 30, 2022
Two of Donald Trump’s most prominent allies in his fight to overturn the 2020 election are leading a coordinated, multi-state effort to probe local election officials in battlegrounds such as Michigan, Arizona, and Texas ahead of the November election. The America Project, an organization founded by Michael Flynn, a retired three-star general and former national […]
GOP poll watcher training casts unfounded suspicion on Arizona elections
By: Jen Fifield/Votebeat - June 27, 2022
The Republican National Committee is telling potential Arizona polling place observers that there are “festering problems” in how elections are run, such as security issues with vote-counting machines and problems with voter rolls, as it trains them for the state’s upcoming primary election. The RNC training delivers the message that the “2020 election had serious […]
Republicans helped Arizona champion voting by mail. Now they want it gone.
By: Jen Fifield/Votebeat - June 13, 2022
Republicans made Arizona an early vote-by-mail innovator in 1991, enacting one of the first laws in the country permitting voters to send in a mail ballot early without an excuse. The state then doubled down, setting up a system in 2007 for voters who wanted to automatically and permanently get ballots in the mail. The […]
This Republican bastion of Arizona loves ballot drop boxes — the far right’s latest target
By: Jen Fifield/Votebeat - June 8, 2022
Ballot drop boxes have become the far right’s latest cause célèbre, the focus of unfounded allegations of widespread election fraud, but they are well-loved in one Arizona Republican stronghold.
Maricopa County to double voting locations, citing COVID and misinformation
By: Jen Fifield/Votebeat - June 3, 2022
Election officials in Arizona expect in-person voting to surge during the state’s August primary election, since fears of COVID-19 have somewhat dissipated and concerns over the security of voting by mail have increased.
Arizona would likely see recounts after every election under popular bill
By: Jen Fifield/Votebeat - May 17, 2022
Update May 17, 3 p.m.: The Arizona House voted 50-1-9 this afternoon to pass the bill. It now awaits Gov. Doug Ducey’s signature before becoming law. Arizona’s largest county, Maricopa, would likely be required to recount all ballots cast in every election moving forward if a proposed change to state law passes. The bill, awaiting a […]