Nov 09 2012
While Florida, with its long list of voter issues, is promising to finish up its final vote count by today, the State of Arizona is aiming to finish its tally by sometime next week. Despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of provisional and early votes have yet to be counted in the race for Maricopa County Sheriff, the media has declared that Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been re-elected to a sixth term. As the vote count currently stands, Arpaio has gotten 88,000 more votes than his challenger, Democrat Paul Penzone. Yet, 300,000 provisional ballots have still not been counted and County officials are saying it will take up to ten days to finish the process.
Arizona, notorious for its anti-immigrant policies, saw record numbers of Latino voters register this year. Many of those newly registered voters were given provisional ballots. Provisional ballots are used when there are questions about whether or not a voter is legally registered to vote and are usually not counted until after the election. Election officials claim that this is done to prevent people from casting more than one vote.
Meanwhile Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett claimed that the increase in provisional ballots this year was due to redistricting. However, immigrant advocacy groups like Presente.org have pointed to Arizona’s well known history of discrimination against Latinos. The 80 year old Sheriff Arpaio who has a national reputation for discriminating against undocumented immigrants, raised over $8 million dollars for his reelection campaign, with most of that money coming from out-of-state donors. In contrast, Penzone, his challenger, raised a little over $500,000.
This past Wednesday hundreds of Latino voters rallied outside the Maricopa County Recorder’s office demanding that their votes be counted.
GUEST: Arturo Carmona, Executive Director of Presente Action
Visit www.presente.org for more information.