Nov 09 2012

Hundreds of Thousands of Latino Votes in Arizona Uncounted

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 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

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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Hundreds of Thousands of Latino Votes in Arizona Uncounted”

  1. Rebeccaon 09 Nov 2012 at 2:04 pm

    It was not just Latinos, but any registered Democrat. I am a white, college educated, homeowner, who has been registered to vote in Maricopa county, at the same address, since 2008, and I too, was forced to fill out a provisional ballot. There was nothing improper about my identification, or voter registration. I am, however, a registered Democrat. They just funneled all the voters who were likely to vote for Obama, Penzone, and Carmona straight into the circular file, otherwise known as “provisional votes”. It’s a disgrace and a tragedy, and I hope someone gets to the bottom of it.

  2. Lenoraon 09 Nov 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I have voted in three presidential elections in Arizona. In the first two I was given a provisional ballot because I did not appear on the rolls, despite registering early. The first time a poll worker marked my ballot that I did not have adequate ID, even though I did, and my vote did not count because I did not know I needed to go present my ID. The second election, when a poll worker tried to mark that I did not have adequate ID, I was paying attention and, after a very long discussion with two poll workers I was able to explain the ballot and the law to them so that they gave me one that was not marked for insufficient ID. This time I got an early ballot and delivered it to the polling station because I thought that would mean it was counted for sure, right away. No, I was wrong again; it was put in a plastic tub and may be counted when they get to it.

    I have done everything you are supposed to do when trying to vote. I have registered early. I have researched the candidates and educated myself about the judges. I have made my best judgement on the initiatives. I just want my vote to count.