Uncounted Vote Total Rises to 133,000 in State; Counting to Begin Again on Thursday


About 12,000 provisional ballots were amassed today at the Maricopa County Elections department, officials say, bringing the total number of uncounted votes in Tuesday's primary to at least 133,000.

The provisional ballots are from voters who didn't have proper identification at the polls, recently moved or had some other minor technical problem that prevented them from casting a vote on Tuesday. Many of the provisionals are validated automatically by election officials after a check of voting records. People who had ID issues can show up at a county office between now and Friday at 5 p.m. to prove who they are, and validate their votes.

Statewide, about 21,000 provisional ballots were collected and remain to be counted, says Matt Benson, spokesman for the state Secretary of State's office.


About 112,000 uncounted votes statewide are early ballots dropped off at the polls too late to count yesterday. Yvonne Reed, spokeswoman for county elections, tells us this afternoon that about 81,000 of those are from Maricopa County alone.

In Maricopa County, votes from five polling locations -- four in Mesa, one in Phoenix -- had been uncounted as of this morning. Benson says he doesn't expect "thousands" of extra votes from other precincts to suddenly turn up. But he could not certain that all votes from all precincts in the state have been received by election officials.

Officials expect to get back to counting votes again tomorrow.

At about 5 p.m. on Thursday, Reed says, County Recorder Helen Purcell expects to put out a statement with the most updated vote totals for candidates.

With plenty of close races out there -- especially the one for state Attorney General -- surprises are all but guaranteed.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.