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Most Pima provisional ballots validated; counting continues

Some 14,000 provisional ballots remained to be added to Pima County vote totals Friday, after they were verified and turned over to the Elections Department to be counted. About 85 percent of local provisional ballots were found to be valid after review by the County Recorder's Office.

Although they're unlikely to affect the outcome of any races, local election officials are still counting ballots: about 14,000 of the 18,000 valid provisionals remain to be added to the totals in Pima County. In Maricopa County, about 26,000 remained to be verified, officials said Thursday night.

The review of provisional ballots was completed Thursday, but not all had been run through counting machines. Pima officials examined nearly 21,400 provisional ballots to determine if they should be counted, said Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez.

"The important thing is getting it done right," Rodriguez said earlier in the week.

There were about 6,600 early ballots that were handed in at the polls last Tuesday still waiting to be counted at the Elections Department on Thursday, officials reported. Rodriguez and her staff have turned over another 18,223 provisional ballots to be counted by Elections.

"Most of the provisionals turn out to be valid and get counted," Rodriguez said earlier in the week.

Thursday, her office reported that of the 21,377 provisionals and conditional provisional ballots reviewed, just more than 85 percent were verified.

To forestall allowing voters to cast multiple ballots, those who ask for early ballots and then go to the polls instead are issued provisional ballots, which take longer to process. Voters who go to the wrong polling place and insist on voting are given provisional ballots, but their votes are not included in the final count.

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In Maricopa County, where longtime Recorder Helen Purcell was defeated last week by Democratic challenger Adrian Fontes, there were still about 45,000 provisional ballots left to process Tuesday, the incumbent Republican said. By Thursday, that figure had dropped to about 26,000.

About 10,000 provisionals there had already been found valid and added to the count, she said. There were also about 10,000 early ballots left to count in the county, Purcell said.

Pima County's numbers showed some minor discrepancies. A receipt showing 4,206 ballots were sent Monday from the Recorder's Office to the Elections Department was updated to report that 3,504 had been sent. But the Elections Department, which did not make public data on provisional ballots until the day after being asked about them by TucsonSentinel.com, separately reported receiving 3,505 ballots.

Elections Director Brad Nelson said that a final count would not be posted before the weekend.

With the remaining ballots being from throughout the county, and the closest races being to represent smaller areas, the number of votes yet to be added are unlikely to shift any outcomes.

In the race for the third seat on the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board, Rachael Sedgwick leads Betts Putnam-Hidalgo by about 250 votes, 48,304-48,045. Both were challengers in the vote-for-three race that saw incumbents Mark Stegeman and Kristel Ann Foster easily re-elected. Cam Juarez trailed in his re-election effort, coming in sixth out of the seven-candidate field.

In the race for state House in LD 10, incumbent Democrat Stefanie Mach trails Republican challenger Todd Clodfelter by about 600 votes, 44,187-43,185. Democrat Kristin Engel led the pick-two race with 44,211 votes.

Last Wednesday, there were more than 672,000 ballots left to be added to the count from Tuesday's election in Arizona, with more than 75 percent of them in Maricopa County.

In the March presidential preference election in Arizona, about two-thirds of the 8,400 provisional ballots cast in Pima County were added to the vote count after they were verified.

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Click image to enlarge

Pima County Elections webcam

County workers tally provisional ballots on Friday afternoon.

Pima County provisional ballots

Provisionals counted

Counted federal only 13
Counted 18,218

Provisionals not counted

Could not confirm ID 6
Not signed 62
Registered after deadline 373
Registration cancelled 521
Voted early ballot 168
Voted multiple ballots 30
Voted in wrong precinct 1,150
Not registered 792

Conditional provisional ballots

Counted 5
No ID provided (not counted) 39