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Bennett: Arizona is on pace for ballot counting

Arizona Sec. of State Ken Bennett smiles during an interview with News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's Mac & Gaydos on Friday. (Carter Nacke/KTAR)

While some people are upset that Arizona still has about 100,000 uncounted ballots, Ariz. Sec. of State Ken Bennett said the state is right on track.

"Interestingly, what's playing out this year is almost identical to what played out four years ago," he told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's Mac & Gaydos on Friday.

Bennett said Maricopa County alone had about 325,000 early ballots dropped off at the polls, a slight jump from 2008. Those ballots cannot be counted at the polling place because they are not equipped to handle them.

"All those were basically boxed up and taken down to the central count machines at Maricopa County," he said. "They can process about 50,000 per day."

Bennett also said that the signatures on the early ballots have to be compared to that on the voter's registration to ensure they were signed by the voter.

When it comes to provisional ballots -- those that are provided for voters who had a change of address, received an early ballot, etc. -- each one has to pass through a time-consuming verification process.

Bennett said he has spent about two days helping to count and certify all the ballots, but it's a big job.

"There's 200 people at tables and computers working in bipartisan teams to go through every ballot to make sure that everyone who can be counted is counted," he said, adding that he and another volunteer processed 427 provisional ballots in five hours.

Some groups are claiming Arizona's voting process seeks to intimidate first-time voters and minorities, but Bennett said that is untrue and the process of counting the votes and ensuring accuracy simply takes time.

About the Author

Mac Watson & Larry Gaydos represent "the younger generation of talk…because we grew up in a different era." To someone who has never listened, Mac Watson and Larry Gaydos describe their show as,  "relatable stories that emotionally connect with our audience…. basically, stuff that affects our daily lives here in Arizona."


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