Voters raise concerns over provisional ballots - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

UPDATE

Voters raise concerns over provisional ballots

Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Dozens of disgruntled voters marched outside the Maricopa County Recorder's Office Wednesday.

Many of them told CBS5 that they were forced to fill out provisional ballots on Election Day.

Melissa Rodriguez showed CBS 5 News her voter registration card and driver's license. But she said that wasn't enough when she showed up to vote Tuesday.

"They said I was not in the books," said Rodriguez. "I was asked to do a provisional ballot and I felt very uneasy about it."

The Phoenix mother said she has no idea whether her vote will count, and she's not alone.

A number of community action groups held a news conference Wednesday.

Organizers claim there were widespread problems at Valley polling places that resulted in an unusually high number of provisional ballots being filled out.

Brendan Walsh with United Here said 1.3 million votes were cast in the sheriff's election in 2008.

"So far, 900,000 had been counted," Walsh said. "That means we're missing 400,000 somewhere."

Some of the problems reported on Election Day were that voters were turned away, received misinformation from poll workers and were given wrong information about polling places.

County workers spent Wednesday sifting through all the provisional ballots that have come in.

According to county recorder Helen Purcell, they have roughly 115,000 provisional ballots from Maricopa County.

County Recorder Helen Purcell said, "Yes, those votes could have an impact on some of the close races."

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett said there's more than 600,000 early and provisional ballots statewide that have yet to be processed and counted.

Bennett said the uncounted ballot total was 602,334 as of Wednesday. [Search for your provisional ballot]

That includes Maricopa County's 344,000 uncounted early ballots and 115,000 provisional ballots yet to be verified.

State law gives the counties 10 calendar days to verify and process the remaining early and provisional ballots. That gives them until Nov. 16.

Rodriguez went down to the county recorder's office Wednesday to make sure her provisional ballot will be counted.

She said in such an important election she needs to know her voice will be heard.

"I wanted to know where my ballot was, how it was being counted and how it was being handled," said Rodriguez. "I think we deserve more answers."

Election officials said they were not aware of any widespread problems at Valley polling places.

A state canvass to certify official election results for federal, statewide and legislative races is scheduled Dec. 3.

Here's the breakdown:

Apache County
1,612 uncounted early ballots
845 provisional ballots yet to be verified

Cochise County
unavailable

Coconino County
5,700 uncounted early ballots
5,300 provisional ballots yet to be verified

Gila County
2,134 uncounted early ballots
1,285 provisional ballots yet to be verified

Graham County
0 uncounted early ballots
462 provisional ballots yet to be verified

Greenlee County
0 uncounted early ballots
2 provisional ballots yet to be verified

La Paz County
395 uncounted early ballots
415 provisional ballots yet to be verified

Maricopa County
344,000 uncounted early ballots
115,000 provisional ballots yet to be verified

Mohave County
unavailable

Navajo County
3,301 uncounted early ballots
2,285 provisional ballots yet to be verified

Pima County
54,541 uncounted early ballots
26,194 provisional ballots yet to be verified

Pinal County
20,000 uncounted early ballots
7,437 provisional ballots yet to be verified

Santa Cruz County
839 uncounted early ballots
909 provisional ballots yet to be verified

Yavapai County
unavailable

Yuma County
7,439 uncounted early ballots
2,239 provisional ballots yet to be verified

Individuals who had insufficient identification when they went to vote at a polling place were allowed to cast a "conditional provisional" ballot.

They have until Nov. 13 to return to their county elections office with proper identification.

Copyright 2012 KPHO (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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