Tens of thousands of ballots cast in Arizona’s last presidential election were rejected by elections officials, indicating continued communication and voter education problems in the state, according to a 2014 analysis. Nearly 46,000 of the more than 2.3 million ballots cast in Arizona’s 2012 election — or about 2 percent — were rejected. That rate is down from 2.2 percent in 2008, when Arizona led the nation in rejected provisional ballots. The rejected votes consist of early voting or provisional ballots in which voters went through the voting process but later had their ballots thrown out after review by elections officials. The most common reasons were that voters weren’t registered in time for the election, voted in the wrong precincts or didn’t sign their ballots.
Early votes and absentee ballots are cast when a voter is on the permanent early voting list or lives outside the state or country during election cycles. Provisional ballots are cast when voters are not listed on a jurisdiction’s voter roll or registration records, or if they received an early ballot.
Election experts say rejected ballot rates — and the reasons for rejection — can point to either poor voter education about Arizona’s election process or inefficiencies in the state’s election administration efforts.
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