ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona deadline for verifying ballots needing special treatment is Tuesday

Nov 9, 2020, 2:32 PM | Updated: 2:39 pm

(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)...

(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)

(Twitter Photo/@MaricopaVote)

PHOENIX – More than 70,000 Arizona ballots were estimated to be uncounted as of Monday afternoon, but most of those require special treatment before getting cleared for tallying.

And Tuesday is the deadline to verify early ballots with signatures that don’t match records and provisional ballots cast on Election Day.

“Voters have until Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. to provide acceptable identification for provisional ballots and to verify any mismatched signatures on their early ballot affidavit envelope,” Maricopa County Elections Department spokeswoman Erika Flores told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

State law gives five business days after a general election for ballots requiring special treatment to be processed.

“For provisionals, the voter is told that they are getting a provisional ballot, so if they’re voting in person they do know if they’re voting a provisional ballot rather than a standard ballot.” Flores said.

Maricopa County voters can confirm whether their ballot needs additional verification or if it’s been approved by visiting beballotready.vote.

Residents anywhere in Arizona can find the status of their ballots through the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office website.

If trained workers decide a signature on an early ballot envelope doesn’t match the voter’s signature records, the voter has to let county officials know the ballot is valid. The elections office attempts to contact voters if there are signature questions.

“Once we can get that verification, then we are able to count that ballot,” Flores said. “But if we aren’t able to get the voter to verify their signature with us then we would not be able to count that ballot.”

According to the Secretary of State website, an estimated 76,000 ballots were uncounted as of around 2 p.m. Monday. Of those, more than 40,000 were provisional ballots and over 6,000 were early ballots awaiting signature verification.

In Maricopa, the state’s largest county, the estimated remaining total was over 38,000. Nearly 24,000 of those ready for tabulation, with almost 11,000 provisional and 3,700 needing signature verification.

If many of those special treatment ballots can’t be verified, it would be even more difficult for President Donald Trump catch President-elect Joe Biden in Arizona’s final tally.

Biden held a lead of 16,730 votes as of Monday afternoon.

Flores said Maricopa County’s next batch of results would be released at 7 p.m. Monday.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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Arizona deadline for verifying ballots needing special treatment is Tuesday