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Pima County Recorder addresses provisional ballot issues

Pima County Recorder addresses provisional ballot issues

CREATED Nov 9, 2012

Web Producer: Ashley Guttuso

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriquez is clarifying statements about the Poll Rosters used in polling places on Election Day this past Tuesday.

Rodriquez said that the number of provisional ballots issued in this past election was 26,194.  The Pima County Recorder's Office has started reviewing and validating these ballots.

The first category of ballots that were issued to voters who were sent an early ballot but chose to vote by provisional ballot instead have been processed. The second group of ballots are those that were issued to voters who moved to a new residence and did not update their voter registration record.

Rodriquez also noted that the Pima County Board of Supervisors reduced the number of precincts from 416 to 288 because of the number of residents who vote early.  This resulted in the reduction of polling locations by 30 percent for the 2012 election.

The Recorder's Office also says that because the number of polling locations was reduced, there were more voters at each location with few polling workers, which results in a longer processing time.

The third category of ballots included those for voters not on the signature roster.  The exact number of voters in this category is currently unknown.

The fourth category of ballots include those w if the voter is not registered to vote in Pima County and does not know if they are registered to vote or not.  Provisional Ballots in this category will historically not meet the requirements to be verified and counted by the Department of Elections.

According to the Recorder's Office, the law says that voters who appear on Election Day are
entitled to be issued a provisional ballot under any circumstances.

Rodriquez said that category three voters and many voters who went to their correct polling location but were not on the signature roster and received a provisional ballot are issues of concern.

The Chief Deputy Recorder/Registrar of Voters and the computer programming staff are reviewing the process to recommend improvements to the current system.

The Recorder’s Office processed 43,988 early ballots that were dropped off at the
polling places on Election Day. From these preliminary results, they found that some voters who registered to vote on the registration cutoff date and voters who registered prior to the cutoff date, were not all listed properly by alphabetical order in their correct voting area.

They also found that voters who had address changes that were entered into the system on the registration cutoff date remained on the roster of their old polling place rather than their new one.

The Recorder's technical staff found that neither of these issues occurred consistently or in every
roster in the county.

The Recorder’s Office will continue to review all of the rosters.

As of Friday, November 9, 34 provisional ballots were found to have been the results of the roster issue.

Rodriguez says she apologizes to any voter that was impacted on Election Day due to these issues and that she is making changes to guarantee this does not happen again.