Arizona voters exit a polling place after casting their vote in the state’s primary. Ralph Freso/Getty Images/AFP
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For all the worries about Russian hackers and other cybervandals, voting problems this week in Arizona served as a reminder that one of the biggest threats to fair elections is plain old human error. That appeared to be the case during Tuesday's primary, when dozens of polling places in the state's most populous county opened late because the voter verification machinery had not been set up.The confusion in the state where over a million voters cast ballots came two years after Phoenix-area residents ended up waiting for hours in the heat to vote because a previous election chief drastically reduced the number of polling places.Over the past two years, much of the national conversation about elections has been focused on cybersecurity and the threat of meddling by Russian hackers.Since the 2016 presidential election, state and local election authorities have been scrambling to improve their cyberdefenses, upgrade voting systems and train election officials. Officials say Russian hackers targeted election systems in at least 21 states in the months leading up to the 2016 vote.In Arizona, Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes said Tuesday that he learned a day before the election that not all of the equipment had been hooked up yet, and he sent out staff members to try to fix the problem.
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