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(Update:  Success on both fronts: the AZ Dems committed to sending out an email blast about the need to validate provisional ballots and Carmona sent his own blast reminding everyone that 1/3 of the vote is uncounted. Time to run up the Mission Accomplished Banner on this diary. WOOT! Thanks to everyone who did anything.)

I feel that attention should be drawn to the fact that fully 1/3 of Arizona's total votes, about 632,000, are uncounted. 172,000 of these are provisional ballots.

Richard Carmona is down by only 78,700 votes as of this morning.

Each one of those 632,000 votes could have a Senate vote on it.


And why won't he un-concede?

Many many of us worked very very hard to bring early voters to the polls. Many of the provisional ballots are going to be Carmona votes, as are many of the early votes.


I and many others have contacted the Carmona campaign, which seems to have the collective opinion that they are unlikely to pull an extra 78,701 votes out of the 632,000 left to count.

Why, in a year like this, with a Democratic landslide in the White House and Senate, they would discount our potential...?

Carmona's concession is likely non-binding. But for those of us who worked and voted, to concede with so much still on the table is, I think, unseemly.

If you can spare the time to give the campaign a call and ask them to consider un-conceding, Arizona Dems like me would be most grateful.

(602) 441-3595

There is also a Move-On member-generated petition you could sign, if you felt so moved.

I don't have much more on this. I have a call in to the legal counsel for the AZ Dems to confirm that the concession is not binding. Other than that, it's just optics. But they might matter. A significant number of the provisional ballots are from people who had no identification, and needed it for whatever reason- new voter, wrong polling spot...

If those voters don't show up to the courthouse with their ID by Tuesday- their ballots will NOT be counted. If they went out to vote for Carmona and they already know he's lost, why would they bother? People work, have kids... it's hard to get this stuff done. IMHO, Carmona needs to unconcede and MAKE A PUBLIC STATEMENT to encourage his supporters to make sure that their early and provisional ballots are counted.

Originally posted to on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Phoenix Kossacks and Baja Arizona Kossacks.


Should Carmona unconcede?

84%220 votes
15%40 votes

| 260 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Does a concession (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vlajos, Chi, chimpy, Lujane

    Have any force in law...does it mean anything?

    The votes still have to be counted. What if carmona comes out ahead anyway?

  •  If he wins he still wins (9+ / 0-)

    He's thinking there is a 90% chance it ain't happening--

    so he is taking the safe road here.

    If somehow he wins, its not like Flake gets to go to the Senate because he conceded -

    Legally Carmona is the Senator.

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:11:05 AM PST

  •  Not Optimistic about this one (0+ / 0-)

    PPP had Carmona down 5 in their final poll 51-46. They nailed almost every race. Don't see any way he pulls it out. Not one poll in the final two weeks of the campaign had Carmona closer than 5%.

  •  this strikes a parallel (0+ / 0-)

    How is this any different from mocking Karl Rove for not wanting to concede Ohio/the election with only 75% of the vote counted in Ohio and Romney down by less in the actual counted votes[the margin was under 1,000 when Rove threw his hissy fit]?  Have you actually analyzed where the votes are on a county by county level[or even precinct by precinct if possible], or is your argument just 632,000 is greater than 78,000?

    •  At that point in time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think that Rove had a point.

      However when Virginia and Colorado came in ~20 minutes (?), it didn't matter whether Romney won Ohio or not, Obama was the President.

    •  the difference is that democrats get shunted (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David, wmdrpa

      to provisional votes. republicans don't, because the forces of voter suppression target democrats and not republicans. rove was absurd because of which votes were still left to count.

    •  There is a difference here (14+ / 0-)

      In the case of Ohio, there were not enough votes out to change the race. There were 750,000 votes coming from Democratic districts and 150,000 votes coming from Republican districts. With those numbers, there was no way Obama wasn't winning.

      In this case in Arizona, a third of the vote remains uncounted. Those votes are all early ballots and provisional ballots, which are favoring Carmona. Carmona is winning provisional ballots almost 2 - 1. It is not likely to change the results, but there is a chance it could.

      It's also important because those ballots could change a couple of key races, including a close congressional race where the tea party candidate is ahead by less than 100 votes. If people who voted on provisional ballots don't return to the elections office with their IDs, their vote doesn't get counted.

      Carmona's concession could make those people feel they do not need to mess with showing their ID, which could tip those other races.

      •  WORD! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ThatPoshGirl, buddabelly, tzager, chimpy

        Lover, fighter, dreamer

        by kate mckinnon on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:47:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  math (0+ / 0-)
        Carmona is winning provisional ballots almost 2 - 1. It is not likely to change the results, but there is a chance it could.
        Given there are 524k+ ballots outstanding and Flake's lead at around 76k, the 2-to-1 ratio you cite would net Carmona nearly 173k votes, putting him ahead by 100k. That's optimistic, I would think, but either Carmona stands a very good chance of winning were ALL the votes counted, or the above assumptions are off.

        Heck, if ALL the votes were valid and counted, Carmona just needs to win them at 3-to-2 or better to flip the election.

    •  if it were one county (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chitown Kev, ColoTim

      not reporting we could do that,

      but the early and provisional ballots are from everywhere, and there is no count to try and do the datamining to know how they will turn out.

      they could be 50% latino, they could be 75% republican, they could be military, who knows.

      •  Actually, we do know. (6+ / 0-)

        And many of them are from West Phoenix, where the local Dems ran a huge GOTV push for Latinos For Carmona. Many of those ballots WILL NOT BE COUNTED if the people who cast them think that there is no point in spending another half day basically voting again.

        Lover, fighter, dreamer

        by kate mckinnon on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:48:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  really?? (0+ / 0-)

          Who is tracking where the outstanding early ballots come from? I'd like to find that out if you know.

          Or are you talking about the provisionals? If carmona really does have a 20 point lead in provisionals then he could make up alot from say, 100k of them in Maricopa + 20k in Pima (25k votes there!)

          But I kind of doubt  He will make up another 50k margin from the other outstanding 350k early ballots. It seems unlikely. he would need a 15 point margin in all of those ballots and I just doubt it.

          That said If I were him I would not have conceded yet.

          "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics" - F.D.R.

          by biscobosco on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 11:51:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's just math, I suspect. (0+ / 0-)

    Considering that they're dems, and have better access to the numbers than we do, I'm inclined to trust their judgement.

    Be glad that we don't have a guy that acts like Allen West. That's a good thing.

    Howard Dean will always be my president.

    by 4democracy on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:27:29 AM PST

    •  Again, false equivalency (7+ / 0-)

      We are talking about more than a half a million uncounted ballots that we can already see are heavily leaning Democratic in a race separated by less than 80,000. Of the provisional ballots that have been counted, Carmona is getting them nearly 2-1. There are also other closer races, such as Barber/McSally where McSally, the tea party candidate, is leading by 81 votes.

      •  And 2/3 of just provisional ballots (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, kate mckinnon, chimpy

        would close the gap tremendously. A 2-1 edge in the 172k provisionals would pick up roughly 57,000 votes for Carmona, less whatever portion are denied. That would bring him within 22k of Flake. To win the race Carmona would need to get just 52.4% of the remaining 460,000 uncounted votes. It's not at all inconceivable that voter suppression targeting Dems or sluggish processing of votes in urban areas could result in the pool of uncounted votes skewing democratic at such a modest level.

  •  Dr. Carmona has made a statement on his (16+ / 0-)

    Facebook page. Not exactly rescinding his concession, but acknowledging the uncounted votes.

    With over 630,000 ballots remaining to be counted statewide, my team is closely monitoring daily returns & updates. Everyone's vote matters and they need to be counted!
    He also just sent out an email vowing to make sure all the votes are counted.
  •  look past the trees (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it's optics.

    conceding doesn't matter. if, when they finish counting the ballots, Carmona is the winner, he's a senator, conceding on election night or not.

    But, if he were to go on TV and make an ass out of himself demanding a faster counting method or something he looks bad nomatter who wins.

    the fact is he's behind, the margin is very large, and it would have to be a massive D lean in the uncounted ballots for him to come back.

    But, as I said, if the final totals show him winning, or close to where he needs a recount, he'll be there, as well as the DNC and everyone else to make sure it happens.

  •  Five business days to show ID? (4+ / 0-)

    And Monday's a holiday? Those provisional voters are the people who need a call, and they need it directly without waiting for speeches and press releases.

    I agree that even though the concession isn't binding, it still discourages provisional voters from getting back down there with ID. So, a retraction or qualification of the concession would obviously bring in more votes. Not just for Carmona, either, but for all candidates and items who share supporters.

    But, can we go around his campaign? What do we need to do to get the word out to each provisional voter, about how and especially why to get their vote counted. Are there other campaigns who also have enough standing in the situation to ask for call lists?

    Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

    by chimpy on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:31:57 AM PST

  •  Carmona would need > 56.2% of uncounted ballots (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not

    Assume that there are 632,000 votes uncounted and, for the sake of simplicity, assume that those 632,000 are all voted for either Carmona or Flake.  (Not precisely going to happen because some ballots are voted for a write-in or minor party candidate or not voted at all in that contest.)

    To win, Carmona needs a margin of greater than 78,700 out of those uncounted votes.

    That means Carmona would have to win more than 56.2% of those uncounted ballots to win the election.

    In a 50-50 contest, that's very unlikely.  Which is why most candidates facing such long odds in a batch of uncounted ballots choose to concede.  (And, as noted above, the concession is not legally binding -- if Carmona somehow prevails in the count, he's the new senator, period.)

    Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

    by MJB on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:35:16 AM PST

    •  632000 ballots that we know of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kate mckinnon, tzager, Sandino

      We don't even have the numbers of uncounted provisional ballots from three counties that are heavily Democratic. So there may be a lot more ballots we don't even know about.

      •  Even if there were 1 million uncounted ballots (0+ / 0-)

        ... and it's not that many, but even if there were 1 million uncounted ballots that were all voted for either Carmona or Flake, Carmona would need to win over 53.9 percent of those 1 million to win the race.

        If the number of uncounted ballots that were voted for Carmona or Flake is less, than the percentage that Carmona needs goes higher.

        Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

        by MJB on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:46:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They still need to be counted (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tzager, nycvisionary

          This is a third of the vote. It needs to be counted. Even if it isn't enough to change the senate race, it likely will change a couple of very close races. If people think the vote won't matter because Carmona conceded, they may not do what they need to do to get their vote counted.

          •  They're going to be counted, right? (0+ / 0-)

            As long as no one is telling elections officials to stop counting, then it's ok, IMO.

            Here in San Diego, a Dem won a close mayor's race this week (in a huge upset) and the Gooper conceded on Wednesday.  They're still counting all the ballots.  Presumably the GOP candidate's team did the math, and realized he'd need to win nearly 55% of the outstanding ballots, so he conceded.  But again, if he somehow gets that 55%, he becomes the mayor, even though he conceded earlier.

            Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

            by MJB on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:56:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The ballot only gets counted if the voter returns (7+ / 0-)

              to the election office and shows an ID. If the voter thinks that the race is decided, they have no incentive to return and make sure the vote gets counted.

              We also have to pay very close attention to this. Rachel covered it on her show last night and said that in 2010 20% of ballots were just completely thrown out.

              Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

              •  What? (0+ / 0-)

                That's a ridiculous rule.  What kind of banana-republic voter tabulation is going on there?

                There is no way that the average voter is going to go to an election office a few days or a week after the election and ask that their vote be counted.  None.  Regardless of whether they think all races have been decided.  People are busy and have lives and aren't going to make that extra trip.

                Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

                by MJB on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 10:49:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yes it's true, At first I was concerned if Carmona (0+ / 0-)

                un-concedes then it would fire up repubs to fight back harder, but he needs to and then the media would be all over it. People would line up like crazy to make sure their ballots were validated before time runs out.  It would be all over the news and everyone would be scared their ballot had not been counted which is something everyone needs to be made aware of right now.


                A solar spill is just called a nice day

                by furpletron on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 05:37:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  It's provisional ballots. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kate mckinnon, bridav58

      And, when I hear the poll worker telling someone they need a provisional ballot, I don't need to look around to know it's not to the retired white guy who's lived at the same address for forty years.

      Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

      by chimpy on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:11:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Personally, I think it is disrespectful of the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino, ColoTim, whataboutbob

    citizens for candidates to take it upon themselves to concede or claim election. This behavior does support the media's interest in perpetuating the illusion of a horse race and cutting citizens out of the equation.
    That said, the phone number in the diary is inoperative and there's a message indicating that all staff have been moved to other offices.
    The Arizona Democratic Party staff are also out of the office or not available.
    I'd suggest sending email messages.

    We organize governments to provide benefits and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:35:59 AM PST

    •  That's a shame. (6+ / 0-)

      They are dismantling their campaign offices, see? Right when we need them.

      The Dems are all over at the courthouses (or wherever) right now observing and doing their part to validate provisional ballots. They are all working like dogs.

      Anyway, what needed to happen just happened- the Dems are sending an email blast and Carmona did the same.  Time to run up the Mission Accomplished banner, because those two things were all I was trying to accomplish.

      Will update diary.  Thanks, everyone.

      Lover, fighter, dreamer

      by kate mckinnon on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:52:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Finally Flake will probably win by about 1% (0+ / 0-)

    Both the last PPP presidential poll and Nate Silver had Obama losing AZ at 7 points.

    If you add the 632 uncounted votes to the current total, skew the numbers to 53% Romnex 46% Obama and then calculate the Senate result based on the current outcome Flake will get about 1140T Votes and Carmona about 1120T Votes.

    The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who never viewed the world - Alexander von Humboldt

    by germanliberal on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:47:35 AM PST

  •  It's arithmetic. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Let's just assume, for simplicity sake, that all 632,000 ballots are legal - not likely, but close enough. Let's also assume that Carmona needs to make up the 78,700 and add a few in, again for simplicity, say 80,000.

    I'm going to ignore 4.5% that Marc Victor and write-ins got even though 5% is substantial, again for simplicity's sake.

    In order to make up the 80,000 shortfall, he needs 356,000 of the 632,000, leaving Flake with 276,000 - an 80,000 vote difference which means Carmona would be a little over 1000 votes ahead - probably would trigger a recount, but let's ignore that for simplicity sake.

    356,000 divided by 632,000 = 56% approximately, meaning he needs a 56-44 margin for those remaining votes.

    Flake is winning now by 4.5% points, which is pretty much (as has been pointed out) where all the polls predicted the margin the margin would be. Conventional wisdom would predict that that the remaining ballots fall that way as well, but maybe not, right?

    So what we are talking about is a swing from 5% advantage for Flake to a 10% advantage for Carmona.

    That's a 15% swing.

    Now Carmona did win Pima County by 13% but only 10% of the outstanding ballots come from Pima County, so he can't make it up there. The vast majority of the ballots are from areas that went heavily for Flake - Maricopa for instance by 7% - 7% both in early vote and election day.

    That's mainly what we are talking about: early votes.

    It just doesn't add up to any appreciable chance for Carmona.

    OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

    by hillbrook green on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:56:08 AM PST

    •  Provisionals breaking 2-1 for Carmona. (4+ / 0-)

      Put that in your pipe and smoke it. We need those votes!

      Lover, fighter, dreamer

      by kate mckinnon on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 10:04:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you. Never give up. who knows how many Flake (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kate mckinnon

        Voters want show up with I'd. They maybe discouraged after Romney's defeat.

      •  hey, take it easy. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Your diary asked the question why did Carmona concede.

        I gave you the numbers to show why.

        I'm not a big fan of Carmona, but I voted for him and I would rather have him than Flake.


        now how about a source for that number on the provisional ballots?

        OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

        by hillbrook green on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 02:33:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  10% ? (0+ / 0-)

      I read that there are 116,206 uncounted votes in Pima county, that 20%.  

      "Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army" Edward Everett 1852

      by Alan Arizona on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 11:03:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  An identical number (116,000) provisional ballots (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in Maricopa County only! That's 67,44% of the total provisional ballots cast in AZ!!!

        I assume that the vast majority of these ballots is coming from heavily Latino populated West Pheonix suburbs.

        That's very good news for McCain..!!!

        Go Democrats!!!! Heading for a major GOP upset!!!

      •  50,000 left to count as of this am (0+ / 0-)

        according to the Tucson Daily Star.

        I quoted numbers reported on the Pima, Maricopa, and Arizona state election websites. The numbers are there. I didn't pull them out of thin air.

        The biggest number I ever heard here was 80,000 including provisional ballots.

        OK. And now we begin the part of the show where we pull out individual words and phrases of the commenter to try to determine the "real" meaning of the comment.... let the games begin.

        by hillbrook green on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 02:36:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If Caronna doesn't come out publically and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tzager, ColoTim

    Unconcede, he is already showing his lack of spine and a quitter, especially with 632,000 votes uncounted that we know of. That many outstanding votes can go anyway. What would his unconceding hurt? But it would at least inspire some to turn in proof by Tuesday. Why would anyone concede with these many votes outstanding anyway?

  •  You people just don't get it ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David, tzager, ColoTim, kate mckinnon

    You have to prove your identity to get a Provisional ballot counted.

    It is hard to get time off from work, get a babysitter, get a ride, etc and go wait in line at the Recorder's office.

    Are you likely to go through the hassle if the candidate you voted for has conceded? NO.

    Are you likely to go through the hassle if the candidate you voted for tells you the election is not over and we need every vote to count? YES.

    Here in Az we are fighting hard for Democracy, so take your false equivalencies of Alan West, self defeating statistics, and why even bother attitude and go F**k yourself.

    A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

    by falconer520 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 10:13:29 AM PST

  •  Caronna needing to win by 53.5% of the 632,000 (0+ / 0-)

    of the uncounted votes, shouldn't be the point, because who knows how many of his supporters will show up with proof as compared to Flakes. Who knows, Flake supporters may say what the heck for, since they have been discouraged by Romney's defeat. It's who more enthusiastic which would  rendered polling, even the best polling irrelevant. Unconcede.

  •  Concessions are not legally binding. (0+ / 0-)

    It is a gesture.  

    It's unfortunate that Dems are more likely to prematurely concede, but it's understandable that they do not wish to come off like Allen West, even if there are over 600K votes left to count.  

    If Carmona is still behind after those votes are counted, he doesn't lose anything more.  If not, he wins the race.  The important thing to focus on is Counting Every Vote, & pointing out to Arizonans how (deliberately) incompetent the GOP government is at conducting an election.

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 10:27:36 AM PST

  •  Email From Carmona Campaign: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dated Nov. 9th


    I am enormously proud of the campaign we ran. We ran it the right way and every single person involved in this campaign should walk away with their heads held high.

    The only reason we ran such a strong race is that you believed we could and got behind us.

    As some of you know, there are hundreds of thousands of ballots yet to be counted. I want to assure you that our team is doing all that it can to make sure every vote gets counted. We will take every necessary step to make sure all of our supporters' ballots are counted.

    I heard from people all over Arizona who had given up on the political process or had never donated to a campaign before. And I never ceased to be inspired by the young people in our state who threw themselves into volunteering for this race because they wanted to make Arizona a better place.

    This has been a tough campaign, and I can't thank you enough for helping me and my family get through it.

    What drove me all these months was wanting to show the country that Arizona is ready to move in a more moderate direction -- away from the crazy bills, ugly rhetoric and failed leadership. No matter what the final result ends up being, I think we accomplished that.

    Thank you again, and I hope to see you soon.

    -- Rich

    The concession is a mere courtesy, if Carmona ends up with the most votes he wins, just like Allen West loses even if he never concedes.
    •  Nothing at all in there about what to do if (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      your vote was provisional.  He should say what the law is.  From the various comments, he should say

      If you had to vote with a provisional ballot because you didn't have your ID with you, you need to go verify your vote by going to your county clerk's office (or wherever) with your ID by Tuesday for your vote to count.  I ask you to do this, I appreciate all the effort you've already made on behalf of Arizona and myself to elect me to office - we need to finish this the way the law requires.  That is to bring your ID to the Clerk's office by Tuesday.  It will make a great deal of difference to the future of Arizona and this country.
      I know that's kind of indicating the law requires them to show up with ID, but I don't mind suggesting they have a legal requirement to do so if it means they make that extra effort.

      I heard Jeff Flake on NPR yesterday and he's an anti-tax Tea Party nutcase that I want to remove from Washington - not give them a six year term.

  •  Wrong focus... (0+ / 0-)

    Given what I just read, somewhat effectively buried, at the bottom of the following article, the question of un-concesson seems to be a misdirection of resources.

    Races in Arizona Still Hang in the Balance
    Published: November 9, 2012

    Advocates and elected officials are worried, though, that voters who had to cast conditional provisional ballots because they forgot to bring identification to the polls, as state law requires, may not know they have to present their ID at the county elections office by Wednesday for their vote to count.

    What seems to be needed is a post-election Get-Out-The-ID effort, to ensure that people forced to vote provisionally due to missing ID get to their county elections office by Wednesday with valid proof of identification.

    And are there any other hoops that need to be jumped through to ensure inclusion and counting of all these votes?

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