Questions linger as ballot counting continues in Maricopa County

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by Natalie Brand

azfamily.com

Posted on November 8, 2012 at 6:31 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 13 at 12:33 PM

PHOENIX -- A handful of demonstrators plan to hold vigil through the night outside of the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center where hundreds of thousands of ballots must still be processed.

According to the Secretary of State's Office, an estimated 602,334 early and provisional ballots remain to be counted and processed statewide as of Wednesday afternoon. 

The Maricopa County Recorder's Office released its latest numbers, revealing 300,000 early ballots must still be processed, as well as 115,000 provisional ballots.

Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell said “every effort” is being made to complete the process.
Still, several activist groups representing Latino voters say they have lingering questions.
 
Dozens of people rallied Wednesday afternoon, demanding to talk to Purcell about what they describe as confusion at the polls and concerns over the number of provisional ballots.

“There was a lot of confusion that day; people were really frustrated” said first-time voter Claudette Arvizu.

"There's not transparency," said State Representative Ruben Gallego (D- Phoenix). "No one was answering why we have so many provisional ballots. That's what we're concerned about."

Purcell admitted the number of provisional ballots was slightly higher this year but said it's still too early to know why.

"I really don't know. Until we get the provisionals and see why people voted with provisional ballots, I really don’t know,” Purcell told 3TV.

Purcell said her focus right now is getting the remaining ballots counted accurately and efficiently.  Poll workers are working from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. to complete the process, according to the Recorder’s Office.

The secretary of state says counties have 10 calendar days to verify and process the ballots.
 

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