Arizona’s most populous county will try to cut down on provisional ballots and speed up election results in this year’s races, officials said. The Maricopa County Elections Department is seeking to avoid a repeat of 2012, when provisional ballots prolonged an official count by nearly two weeks. County Recorder Helen Purcell said last week many voters used provisional ballots two years ago because they didn’t vote with an early ballot, the Arizona Capitol Times reported. Voters thought the early ballots were samples and threw them out, Purcell said.
In an effort to prevent confusion, early ballots will be packaged in yellow envelopes. The ballots for the August primary are due to go out in less than two weeks. “Maybe (the ballots) will stand out this time and not just get thrown in the trash,” Purcell said.
Provisional ballots often take longer to be verified and counted. In 2012, the number of provisional ballots cast is seen as the reason it took an additional 14 days to get results in the last statewide election. That meant there were substantial delays in calling several of Arizona’s congressional district races. Concerned citizens turned voting-rights activists staged a sit-in at the county elections office.
Full Article: Election officials seek to avoid 2012 delay.