FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Latino Voter Mobilization Coalition Urges Maricopa County, Secretary of State to Reach Out to Provisional Voters
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Monica Sandschafer – 602-740-4530 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phoenix -- In the wake of widespread irregularities during Tuesday's elections, One Arizona is seeking a Department of Justice investigation into the reports that 440,000 early ballots remain uncounted and 160,000 provisional ballots are yet to be verified. At a press conference, on Friday, November 10th, at 1pm, in front of the Maricopa County Recorder’s office, 511 S 3rd Avein Phoenix, the coalition will discuss the details of this request and their quest for reform.
"We're deeply concerned by these shocking allegations and the notion that days after the election, nearly half-a-million Arizona ballots haven't been tallied," said Monica Sandschafer, Executive Director of the Arizona Center for Empowerment. "If true, this means that the voices of 1 in 15 Arizonans are simply being discarded. Nearly half of all early ballots in Maricopa Countyhave yet to be counted. This is the stuff of third-world nations, not a great state like ours."
As of Thursday, November 8th, there are 440,000 reported uncounted early ballots in Arizona – including ballots both mailed in and dropped-off in person.
Additionally, 160,000 provisional ballots have yet to be verified, including 115,000 in Maricopa County and 26,000 in Pima County. A disproportionate number of uncounted provisional ballots came from predominantly-Latino precincts, including areas of West Phoenix and Tolleson.
Provisional ballots are submitted when a voter's name isn't on the signature roster. If you’re at the right polling place and you show ID there, your ballot should be automatically counted. If you went to the right polling place, you have 5 days to go back and show ID for your ballot to be counted. If you went to the wrong polling place, your ballot will not be counted.
In addition to the DoJ investigation, One Arizona groups are calling for Maricopa County to more aggressively reach out to the thousands who need to provide additional identification in order to have their votes count.
"If you cast a provisional ballot and didn't have your ID with you, you have until Wednesday, November 14th, at 5pm to go to the County elections office and show your ID, like a state Driver's License, a voter registration card, or a utility bill with your name and address," noted Sam Wercinski, of the Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation. “However, this is an undue burden on many voters. Given the questionable and unprecedented overutilization of provisional ballots, we are calling on the County to make themselves more available to these tens of thousands of voters, re-opening the polling places that were most problematic to accept additional identification and providing weekend and evening hours, so that no voter is disenfranchised due to work or school obligations.”
Petra Falcon, Executive Director of Promise Arizona, had this clear message for voters: “Please, if you have any questions or if you experienced or witnessed any voter suppression at the polls on Tuesday, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE or, in Spanish, 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA. We – and the Department of Justice – need to hear from you.”
Finally, One Arizona is calling on the Secretary of State to suspend all verification of elections until the public can be assured that all ballots have been counted. Francisco Heredia, with Mi Familia Vota, said, “It’s essential that the Secretary of State protect the integrity of our electoral process. No election can be certified when more than half a million ballots have yet to be counted. Our voices must be heard.”
On November 6th, many polling places didn’t have the capacity to handle the turnout. In some cases, they ran out of provisional ballots, closed the doors, and even called the elections finished before all the votes were cast. An unbiased, neutral investigation is needed into these irregularities, with clear concrete steps to ensure that this never happens again.
ONE Arizona is a non-partisan partnership dedicated to voter registration to bring about full
electoral participation by the Latino Community. The ONE Arizona membership includes
Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation, Arizona Center for Empowerment, Border Action Network, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, One Arizona Interfaith, Protecting Arizona’s Family Coalition Educational Fund, Promise Arizona, Central Arizonans for a Sustainable Economy, Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, Voto Latino and Puente. Each of the ONE Arizona partners plays an integral role in Arizona’s Latino communities by motivating civic engagement, education efforts, encouraging self-sufficiency and building political influence.