PIMA COUNTY, ARIZONA - Tuesday night's election announcements were only the first of many—something Arizonans have grown accustomed to. In years past, it's taken nearly a week to count every ballot, and it's looking like this year will be no different. While 2.5 million votes were counted as of last night, elections officials throughout the state are reporting another 500,000 ballots that will be counted in the coming days.
Pima County has between 26,000 and 34,000 early ballots left to count. It uses an estimated range rather than an estimated number for early ballots to allow for any discrepancies in the ballot total once verification and counting is completed and submitted for the Official Canvass.
There also are about 18,300 provisional ballots to verify. There are several circumstances as to why a voter may have been required to complete a provisional ballot. Using history as a guide, about 80 to 85 percent of provisional ballots are determined to be legally cast by the Recorder and are submitted to Elections for tabulation.
The Pima County Elections Department on Day Two of Election Week counted about 5,354 early ballots and the remaining precincts carried over from Nov. 3.
Pima County Elections will resume counting the remaining ballots Thursday morning and will count every day thereafter until counting is completed. The pace of counting will depend on the pace of ballot verification. Provisional ballots take longer to verify, so there may be some days no counting takes place before the full count is complete.
Results will be updated each afternoon of the days in which counting took place. The County Communications Office will post alerts on its social media accounts each time results are updated.
We’re not complaining though, at least we haven’t had any reports of stolen ballots like in Maricopa County! The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Glendale Police Department (Glendale PD) worked together to deliver more than a dozen stolen ballots back to Glendale residents this weekend.
On Friday afternoon, a worker located a stack of unopened mail-in ballots hidden under a rock located off 99th and Glendale Avenues. The individual contacted the Glendale Police Department and responding officers located 18 ballots on the side of the road. According to investigators, the ballots were stolen from individual mailboxes in a neighborhood just south of 107th and Northern Avenues (in between Vista Avenue and Kaler Drive). The envelopes were still sealed.
On Saturday, AGO agents and Glendale PD hand-delivered the ballots back to the registered voters. It is possible there are additional victims. The motive for stealing the ballots is presently unknown. At this time, the investigation is still ongoing and no arrests have been made.
Arizona voters are encouraged to check the status of their ballots at the Secretary of State’s website.
In October, the AGO sent a letter to law enforcement agencies across the state to offer assistance from the Election Integrity Unit (EIU) with any issues on Election Day. The EIU has created a statewide hotline for law enforcement agencies to call if they receive any criminal reports related to election or voting matters.
The AGO would like to remind the public that if an election-related crime is in progress or a situation is escalating, they should immediately contact their local police department.