Special Election & "Precincts Reporting”

In advance of Tuesday’s election, that due to the unique nature of Tuesday’s special election, we won’t be displaying “Precincts Reporting” for this election for good reason.


The special election legislation required counties to consolidate polling places in accordance with the PPE procedures outlined in A.R.S. 16-248, which means they will drastically reduce their number of ballot styles and (for administrative purposes) will create artificial “precincts” that correspond to those ballot styles.  Those artificial precincts will bear no resemblance to what we traditionally think of as normal precincts.   


In several cases there will be just one ballot style and therefore just one “precinct” for an entire county.  In that case, the county would show 100% of “precincts” reporting even though the county may have only processed a small portion of their ballots.   That is because “Precincts Reporting” measures when a precinct first begins to report its numbers, not when the precinct has finished reporting its numbers.


For example, Maricopa County normally has more than 700 precincts, but for the special election the county consolidated them to eight artificial “precincts.”   The minute that at least one vote is cast, that particular precinct will show as has having “reported.”   And since vote centers allow persons to vote at any location in Maricopa  County, the fact that a precinct “reported” will likely tell you nothing about what area of Maricopa County the votes are coming from.    In an extreme example, in a particular vote center a few ballots could be cast for each of the eight “precincts,” and the entire county would show 100% of precincts reporting despite only processing ballots for one of the 115 vote centers.


This consolidation has the effect of making “Precincts Reporting” a misleading and inaccurate indicator of tabulation progress for this election.   As a result, the website and the data exports provided by the Secretary of State on the May 17th 2016 election night will not contain this data.