80,000 Pima County ballots need to be checked

2012-11-07T11:00:00Z 2012-12-17T07:43:08Z 80,000 Pima County ballots need to be checkedBecky Pallack Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 07, 2012 11:00 am  • 

It will take days to finish counting local ballots and make results official.

About 40,000 early ballots and 40,000 provisional ballots have yet to be counted. The County Recorder's Office will check the signatures today, Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez said this morning.

County elections director Brad Nelson said Tuesday that a high number of provisional ballots were cast Tuesday because of problems with voter rosters at polling places.

Many voters arrived at their polling places to find their names weren't on the list.

Rodriguez doesn't know what caused the problem and doesn't want to speculate, she said. Her staff will focus on signature verifications and then start looking into the roster issue, she said.

"Everybody was overwhelmed, there's no doubt," Rodriguez said.

The Recorder's Office had 27 operators on the phones Tuesday and couldn't clear the phone queue because there were so many callers, she said.

She said many voters didn't update their addresses or went to the wrong polling sites.

This isn't the first time Pima County has had problems with provisional ballots and polling-place mix ups.

The American Civil Liberties Union named Pima County as the worst offender in disenfranchising voters in 2008, because the county invalidated 18 percent of provisional ballots because voters went to the wrong polling place in that election.

In that year, Pima County provisional voters had a one-in-six chance of having their votes go uncounted, the ACLU found.

People who voted by provisional ballot on Tuesday can track their ballot online at recorder.pima.gov or by calling the phone number on the receipt they were given at the polls.

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