Arizonans outraged over large number of uncounted ballots

Arizonans outraged over large number of uncounted ballots

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PHOENIX -

Demanding that all voices be heard and all votes be counted, protesters gathered outside the Maricopa County Elections Office Wednesday.

They're upset hundreds of thousands of votes haven't been counted yet, and they say those votes could change the outcomes of some key races.

The process takes time. We're talking more than 400,000 ballots that still need to be counted here in Maricopa County. The high number is causing concern in the Latino community, who say they just want to make sure their vote is counted too.

"What do we want, justice, when do we want it, now," protesters chanted outside the Maricopa County Recorder's Office.

"I've never heard of this percentage of ballots that haven't been counted before," said Brendan Walsh of Unite Here.

Walsh says his group registered more than 30,000 voters.

The big problem he keeps hearing about is those who requested early ballots say they never received them.

Voters like Giovanni Rodriguez.

"I work 12 hours a day and working 12 hours, I don't have time to go and vote," says Rodriguez.

Some ended up submitting provisional ballots instead.

"When I was done voting I had to put it in a box. it didn't seem like it was important," says Claudette Arvisu.

Her vote ended up inside the county recorder's office. Inside, boxes upon boxes of uncounted ballots sit.

Workers have to go through each one and verify the signatures and voter registration.

"We've got to make sure that person that says gee I didn't get my early ballot actually didn't get their ballot didn't get it processed and didn't send it back in because we do have that occasionally happen," says Helen Purcell, Maricopa County Recorder.

Purcell says it could take as long as 10 days to count all of them.

"We want to make sure that the neighborhoods we work in, low income largely Hispanic populations, that their votes are counted the same as everyone else's. We don't know for a fact they weren't, but we just don't want to let life move on until we know what actually happened," says Walsh.

Walsh, the organizer of today's protest, says he believes that some of those early voting ballots weren't sent out properly, though he doesn't think it was intentional. He just wants to make sure the recorder's office keeps the community updated and the process is transparent.

As of Wednesday evening, Arizona Secretary of State said there were 602,334 ballots still uncounted statewide. That includes Maricopa County's 344,000 uncounted early ballots and 115,000 provisional ballots yet to be verified.

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