Primary Election Notes ~ Updated for Aug. 26, 2010
How many ballots are left to be counted?
As of Thursday afternoon, there are an estimated 34,000 early ballots and 20,000 provisional ballots statewide that are yet to be processed and counted. Of these, Maricopa County has about 25,000 uncounted early ballots and 12,000 provisional ballots yet to be verified. Pima County is next, with about 1,500 early ballots and 3,500 provisional ballots to be processed. La Paz County has completed its ballot count. Remaining ballots are spread among the other 12 counties.
OK, so when will we have final, unofficial vote totals?
State law gives the counties five business days to verify and process the remaining early and provisional ballots. That gives them until the end of Tuesday, Aug. 31. A state canvass to certify official election results for federal, statewide and legislative races is scheduled for Sept. 7.
What about voters who cast a “conditional provisional” ballot?
These individuals had insufficient identification when they went to vote at a polling place. They have three business days, or until the end of Friday, Aug. 27, to return to their county elections office with proper ID (ie. an Arizona driver's license, etc.).
State law reads as follows:
16-661. Automatic recount; requirements; exemption
A. A recount of the vote is required when the canvass of returns in a primary or general election shows that the margin between the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes for a particular office, or between the number of votes cast for and against initiated or referred measures or proposals to amend the Constitution of Arizona, is less than or equal to the lesser of the following:
1. One-tenth of one per cent of the number of votes cast for both such candidates or upon such measures or proposals.
2. Two hundred votes in the case of an office to be filled by state electors and for which the total number of votes cast is more than twenty-five thousand.
3. Fifty votes in the case of an office to be filled by state electors and for which the total number of votes cast is twenty-five thousand or less.
4. Two hundred votes in the case of an initiated or referred measure or proposal to amend the constitution.
5. Fifty votes in the case of a member of the legislature.
In the case of the race for Arizona Attorney General, what that means is a recount will be triggered if the margin of difference between the top two candidates is less than 200 votes. We should know the answer to that once the counties have completed processing ballots on Tuesday. Keep in mind that there is no provision in state law allowing a candidate to demand a recount.