What is happening in Arizona right now is an atrocity. On November 7th the Secretary of State, Ken Bennett, said there were 162,373 provisional ballots across Arizona that remained uncounted. Today, November 9th, the SoS's office now reports 172,196 uncounted provisional ballots. That's right, after three days of counting, there are actually more uncounted ballots, not fewer.
UPDATE: Some people have taken issue with my saying that the number of provisional ballots has increased, so I am striking that part out. I still think the number is too high. I was forced to vote on a provisional ballot during the primary because my name was not on the rolls. I know that a lot of people during the general have encountered the same thing. Over 600,000 registrations were inactivated over the last two years and all those people have to vote provisional even though they were legally registered. I consider that a serious problem. I voted in 2010, so why was my registration removed? Why were all of those other people's registrations removed?
There were approximately 1,853,017 votes in Arizona, so the 172,196 provisional ballots makes up just under 10% of the vote. This number of provisional ballots is outrageous. To put it in perspective: In 2008, in Ohio, there were 207,000 provisional ballots with 5,773,777 votes cast, or about 4% of the vote.
Based on the provisional ballots counted in the senate race since Wednesday, the elections office is counting around 1700 provisional ballots a day. The counting has to be completed and certified by November 16th. If they count every day between now and then, including the weekend and Veterans day, at this same rate, less than 12000 ballots will have been counted.
In other words, this is a good old fashioned clusterfuck. The Secretary of State's office is NOT on track to have all provisional ballots counted by the deadline.
For anyone who had to vote on a provisional ballot, there are a few things you need to know:
* If you voted on a provisional ballot due to ID issues, you need to go into your local elections office and show ID to get your ballot counted.
* If you voted on a provisional ballot due to address issues, but had proper ID, then you don't need to do anything. Once your registration is verified, your ballot should be counted.
You can check the status of your provisional or early voting ballot on the SoS website.
Hopefully this will all get worked out, but I find the fact that, 3 days after the election, the provisional ballots remain uncounted with the November 16th deadline looming very upsetting.