Will your provisional ballot count? The answer is two-fold

Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Will your provisional ballot count? The answer is two-fold

CREATED Nov. 15, 2012

Reporter: Cory Marshall

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Provisional ballots seem to spur controversy in any election and a big part of the beef centers around whether the provisional ballots count.

Turns out the answer is not a simple, yea or nay. Under Arizona state law, if you go to the wrong polling place your vote does not count.

"That ballot is disqualified. That's all there is to it," Pima County Deputy Recorder, Chris Roads said.

The disqualification includes votes for local, senate and presidential races.

9OYS asked Roads, why incorrect precinct voting would disqualify votes for a national race?

"It seems that way but for us it's a ballot and the ballot covers from top to bottom", Roads said.

Roads estimates 80 to 90 percent of provisional ballots will be counted.

According to Roads, the estimated 26,000 provisional ballots cast in Pima County include voters who were not registered to vote; voters who did not register to vote by the cut-off deadline; voters who were in the wrong polling place and voters who attempted to vote at a polling place after already voting with their early ballot.

"The reality is the overwhelming bulk of the provisional ballots that we're seeing are people who requested and received an early ballot and did not return it," said Roads. "In fact, we would be done and home by now if those people had just returned their ballots."

Some states do allow portions of a ballot to be counted, but Arizona is not one of them.

Once all ballots are counted, provisional voters will be able to see whether their ballot counted online. On each provisional ballot there is a receipt, voters can go to the Pima County Recorder's website and enter their receipt number and name to view their results.

Roads says if a voter's ballot was not counted, an explanation will be posted alongside the result. He says the hope is that the voter will be able to correct the mistake before future elections.