Maricopa County Faces More Outstanding Ballots Than 2012, But Predicts An Easier Count

By Nick Blumberg
Published: Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 12:12pm

The Maricopa County Elections Office has started to count outstanding ballots from Tuesday's general election, and will continue tabulating every day until it's done.

About 40,000 people cast a provisional ballot, far fewer than in the 2012 general election. But 120,000 early ballots were dropped off in person, a huge jump since the last race.

Add in 50,000 early ballots returned by mail that weren't tabulated by Tuesday night, and workers faced about 210,000 ballots when they started counting again Thursday morning.

But despite the large increase in early ballots returned in person, County Recorder Helen Purcell says that's actually a good thing, since early ballots are much easier to process than provisionals.

"On the early ballots, we have to verify every signature, and that is not as long a process as it is to actually research whether or not somebody should or should not have been allowed to vote or whether that vote should count," Purcell said.

Purcell hopes to finish counting ballots by the middle to end of next week.