PHOENIX - Thousands of Maricopa County voters waited hours to cast ballots in Tuesday's presidential preference election. Lines wrapped around buildings all over the county around the clock.

The problem, it was a highly contested race for both Democrats and Republicans. To make matters worse, there were not enough polling places to meet the need.

Former Secretary of State Ken Bennett called the election a "perfect storm."

In 2012, there were 200 polling locations across the county; Tuesday, only 60. That's a 70 percent decrease.

MAPS: See 2012 versus 2016 polling locations in Maricopa County

In 2012, Bennett says there were only 300,000 voters in Maricopa County. This year, the demand was higher. An estimated 800,000 tried to cast their ballots.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell is in charge of planning polling locations ahead of elections. Purcell says they chose 60 spots by taking into consideration the number of people on the early voting list and the fact that one-third of people registered in Maricopa County could not officially mark a ballot because they were independents.

12 News political reporter Brahm Resnik asked Purcell if they were warned that reducing to 60 locations was too much.

"I don't think anybody warned us of anything," Purcell said. "We just did our calculations. If those calculations turned out or have turned out to be incorrect ... or maybe we should've thought differently."

Arizona Elections Director, Eric Spencer, says Tuesday night was too soon to place blame on anyone and Wednesday is the time to look ahead to planning for the next election.

"Tomorrow [Wednesday] begins the conversation about what we need to do," Spencer said. "Some of that is planning and forecasting. Some of that may be legal changes."

Spencer said they've been running a $6.1 million bill at the legislature to provide full funding to counties to run the election. He added that there was an extensive social media effort for voter education, but he says no matter how hard they try, it's difficult to reach everyone.

PHOTOS: Voters hit the polls, March 22, 2016