Voters in Arizona's Maricopa County encountered a series of problems when they tried to cast their ballots on Tuesday at their polling places.
Many complained about long waits for provisional ballots, which are given to those who don’t show up on the poll roster or fail to produce proper identification.
Officials with Promise Arizona in Action, an organization that advocates immigration reform and fights discrimination, said they are concerned that poll workers were given pre-election instructions that may have forced the huge number of provisional ballots. They also said numerous voters reported their names were not on lists used by precinct workers.
Petra Falcon, executive director of Promise Arizona, said she was told that 200,000 provisional ballots were cast, as well as 200,000 early ballots. She said counting of those votes will not even begin until this morning and she feared the Maricopa County sheriff’s race would be called before then. And it was, with Sheriff Joe Arpaio beating Democrat Paul Penzone to win his sixth term in office.
“Four hundred thousand ballots — that’s a lot,” Falcon said. “Even if it’s an Arpaio win, those votes should be counted.”
Roopali Desai, Promise Arizona’s attorney, said the number of provisional ballots is “unprecedented” in Arizona — or anywhere. “Nobody can explain it,” she added. “We’re trying to get to the bottom of it.”
An update on Thursday shows the number of uncounted early and provisional ballots in Arizona is far greater than just the earlier reported 400,000...