Decision 2012

Nov 16, 2012 12:46 AM by Nathan O'Neal

Pima election workers count, prep for deadline

TUCSON - Pima County election workers are preparing for a push to complete counting the remaining provisional and early mail-in ballots within the 10 -day deadline.

Arizona state statute gives county recorders 10 days to verify and count each remaining ballot after the polls close, but as that deadline near, Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez said it's more of a "goal" than an actual deadline.

Think the election is over? Well, think again. It's been nine days since the polls, but thousands of ballots are still being processed.

Each provisional and mail-in ballot must be thoroughly checked by the county recorder's office before being sent over to the elections center for those voted to count.

Elections officials said there are roughly 10,000 provisional ballots that still need to be verified and 138 early ballots that need to be counted in Pima County.

"The issue that we had is that we got a really late start on the provisionals because so many early ballots were dropped off and not mailed as they normally do," said Rodriguez.

The provisional ballots go through a two step checking process. Most of the remaining ballots, officials said, have gone through the first step and are awaiting a second check.

With close races still undecided, such as in Congressional District 2, attention to detail is a must.

However, it's that process that could force the counting to continue well into the weekend.

"We feel really comfortable we'll make our goal but we really don't know until we get into each individual packet what happened in each individual voting area what's going to go on," Rodriguez told News 4 Tucson.

Cochise County officials reportedly finished their counting today, while Pima County elections staffers took the day off from counting. They are planning a big push tomorrow afternoon, finishing up their remaining early and provisional ballots.

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