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Recorder Purcell punished for long voter lines

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Voters in Maricopa County have punished the elections official who took responsibility for hours-long lines in the March presidential primary by voting her out of office.

Republican Helen Purcell was beaten by Democrat Adrian Fontes in the county recorder’s race and conceded on Tuesday. The county was still tallying ballots but she was nearly 13,000 votes behind when she acknowledged the loss.

Purcell was first elected in 1988 and never challenged while serving seven four-year terms as county recorder. Her decision to cut the number of polling places for the March election caused thousands of voters to wait as long as five hours to vote. Purcell and Secretary of State Michele Reagan were blamed for the foul-up.

Fontes is an attorney making his first foray into politics.

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