The Main Stream

Aug 25, 2010 8:14 PM

Late ballots being verified & counted

TUCSON - In Pima County, 13,500 mail in ballots were delivered this morning, and there are 3,500 Provisional ballots that still need to be verified.

The mail in ballots were supposed to be a part of "early voting." But Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez says, for some reason they didn't make it to the post office in time or were dropped off at the polling places.

She says the mail in ballots will be verified by the end of the day, but the provisional ballots take longer. "The voter is allowed to cast a ballot but the ballot doesn't go into the optical scan reader, it is put in a separate envelope and brought downtown for further checking," she says.

Once the signatures are verified, the ballots make their way to the Elections division where a member of each political party begins the counting process. Letty Perez and Frances Grijalva have both been doing this job for 20 years.

But Pima County isn't alone when it comes to late ballots. Brad Nelson, who heads the Elections Division says every county has late ballots. He says while Pima County has 13,500, Maricopa County has three times more.

"There are many thousands of ballots out there that could affect the close races," he says. Pima County expects to have their numbers in by Saturday.

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