Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

350,000 AZ votes uncounted: It’s not over ’til it’s over

According to the map on the Arizona Secretary of State’s website, all of Arizona’s counties have reported their election results from yesterday’s midterm election.

In actuality, Secretary of State Ken Bennett today announced that there are 350,000 early and provisional ballots yet to be counted statewide. Earlier in the day, it appeared as if the Pima County Recorder’s office was the only laggard– with 35,000 early and provisional votes uncounted– but not so, Pima has only 10% of the uncounted ballots.

Why have so many votes not been tallied? Arizona law allows voters to received paper ballots in the mail. They can be dropped in the US Mail for approximately a month, but when voters procrastinate and get too close to the election day, they must deliver their mail-in ballots at any polling place by 7 p.m. on election day.

According to Bennett (who was interviewed on the John C. Scott Show today on The Jolt, 1330AM), approximately 250,000 mail-in ballots were delivered to polling places on election day, and another 80,000+ provisional ballots were issued at the polling places. (A voter is given a provisional ballot for multiple reasons; for example, their address on record doesn’t match their address on the identification or records show they got a mailed ballot.)

According to Bennett, counties have until 10 days after the election to submit their final totals.

So what? Well, there are several races that are very close— most notably Raul Grijalva vs Ruth McClung, Gabrielle Giffords vs Jesse Kelly, Prop 203 (medical marijuana), Prop 110 (state lands trust) and Prop 112 (changing petition deadlines).  Grijalva and Giffords are currently winning by fewer than 5,000 votes, and all three propositions are currently losing by less than 1%.

It ain’t over, folks.

9 comments on “350,000 AZ votes uncounted: It’s not over ’til it’s over

  1. RuthsFriend
    November 3, 2010

    Come on 203…win baby, win!!


  2. RightWinger
    November 3, 2010

    As a fiscal conservative I can only hope that eventually the electorate will realize that the demonization of a plant does not work on any level.
    Industrial hemp could provide tons of new jobs and exports across the world. Recreational drug use is a billion dollar industry where currently the only people making money are drug dealers and drug cartels.
    Just think of it this way, if your INSERT RELATIONSHIP HERE (Son, Daughher, Niece, Nephew, etc) were to get caught with a small amount of marijuana (Be honest, at least 50%+ of the country has tried it so chances are EXTREMELY good one of those people in your life, or more likely many of those people in your life have also used marijuana) would you think it was fair for them to be charged with a felony?
    Would it seem rational to you for them to never be allowed to vote? To own a handgun? To run for political office? To be turned down from good jobs? — How crazy are we?
    We ruin people’s lives because they choose to use a recreational drug that has been around for thousands of years and more than likely you yourself have at least tried. We need to consider whether or not the penalties for smoking marijuana equate to the damage the crime itself causes.
    Back to the economics, the government spends BILLIONS of dollars every year locking people up for marijuana-related crimes. In addition, billions more are spent on police, attorneys, court costs, etc to fight marijuana. This is government waste at its finest.
    By legalizing marijuana we will immediately save BILLIONS of dollars each year so that we can lower taxes, and additionally tax revenues from marijuana sales would be in the billions…again saving you the taxpayer money.
    Let’s get one thing straight. Marijuana is readily available all over this country and anyone who wishes to smoke pot can smoke pot today. Studies have shown that middle-school children can get marijuana easier than they can get alcohol or tobacco.
    If we are worried about the kids then LOCK UP YOUR PRESCRIPTION PILLS!!!
    Let’s let FREEDOM RING and legalize weed…let stoners be stoners and the real criminals can be the inmates.


  3. Sean
    November 3, 2010

    Finally a news article regarding the final tally that is using facts, instead of riding the wave of news reports claiming victories for candidates and defeats of propositions that are far too close to call prematurely.


  4. tiponeill
    November 3, 2010

    Personally I would just like to give a big warm thank you to Steve Stoltz – another brilliant Arizona voter 🙂


  5. Jeuse
    November 3, 2010

    LETS GO 203!!


  6. cochisecitizen
    November 4, 2010

    Felecia Rotellini hasn’t conceded the AG race yet. She’s trailing by 65k votes, but with 350k votes not counted (AZ Star says it’s 374k), it’s possible she could still pull it out.


    • Pamela Powers
      November 4, 2010

      Yes, I don’t think anyone should concede.
      Bennett said “in the neighborhood of 350,000.”  The Dems really chased those unmailed paper ballots with phone calls and walkers. I guess this is the result. Get busy, Ken!


      • cochisecitizen
        November 4, 2010

        Yes, I had two follow calls, one from AZ Dem & another from Cochise County Dems, making sure I’d turned mine in. Then a robocall from Rep. Giffords on election day telling me if I hadn’t mailed it in it was too late and to take it to a polling place. She stressed that the election was very close. I mailed mine back in the Tuesday after Columbus Day, and then since it was the first time I’d voted by mail-in, I called the Cochise Recorder’s Office to make sure it had been accepted. They were happy to check and tell me it had.
        I think it’s clear the election facilities were not prepared for the deluge of early ballots turned in on election day. They can verify the signatures in a timely manner when they trickle in during the weeks leading up to election day, but it creates a huge backlog to check this many handed in on election day. I’m sure there are many with legit reasons for turning it in on election day (forgot, out of town, etc.), but I suspect many are just using early ballots as an excuse to avoid lines & wait times at the polls and just drop it off. I’d suggest they change this: those turning in early ballots in person on election day need to wait in line with the other voters. Then their ID & voter registration is checked, which eliminates the need for the Recorder’s office to verify the signature. Then instead of a voting booth they’re just directed to the machine so their ballot can be scanned along with everyone else’s voting that day. That would avoid this huge mess.


  7. dollarshort
    November 9, 2010

    Keep counting until the person you want wins.


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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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