Arizona election threats

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Voter registration

This section details threats to voters from and problems with the state's voter registration system.

Verification, database and rejection

  • According to FairVote[1], in 2004, "There were widespread problems in Maricopa county with people being dropped from the voter rolls or not being able to register through organizations unaffiliated with their county office. One woman reported the reaction of one poll worker after stating that she had registered at an Elizabeth Edwards rally: "that's no big loss- you registered for the wrong party anyway."

Notification and appeal

3rd party registration

NVRA implementation

Student voting rights

Felon voting rights

Quoting from an October, 2008 report[2] on "de facto disenfranchisement" (summary)(download PDF) co-published by the Brennan Center for Justice and the ACLU:

"Arizona law differentiates between individuals with first-time, single-count felony convictions and those with repeat or multiple felony convictions. Individuals with first-time, single-count felony convictions are automatically eligible to vote upon completion of sentence. By contrast, individuals with multiple felony convictions must satisfy a two-year waiting period and then apply to a court for restoration of their voting rights. Interviews with local election officials in 2007 revealed that half the officials interviewed were confused about the distinction in the treatment of these two groups. Additionally, over half the officials either responded incorrectly to the question of whether an individual convicted of more than one felony can ever vote again in Arizona, or did not know that individuals with two or more felony convictions could seek to have their rights restored."

See also "felon disenfranchisement" issue page

Voter education

This section details past and potential election threats caused by the state's laws, regulations and practices on voter education, how to vote, information on elections, etc.

Absentee and early voting

This section details problems with and threats to the state's absentee and early voting system.

Voter suppression and intimidation

This section details problems and threats involving fraud, intimidation and suppression efforts.

  • KVOA News 4 Tucson Pima County challenged over vote-counting for disabled November 3, 2008. (The Arizona Center for Disability Law files a civil rights complaint with the Justice Department over Pima County's intentions to count ballots of those with disabilities last.)

Deceptive practices laws

Voter caging, purging and other eligibility challenges

  • According to FairVote[1], in 2004, "A man appeared at several polling places wearing a millitary style belt and t-shirt with the words "U.S. Constitution Enforcer" and demanded that voters show him their ID, while videotaping them."

Voter intimidation and deception

  • According to FairVote[1], in 2004, "Voters in certain polling places in Maricopa and Pima county were told they could not enter the polling place if they were carrying a "Voter's Bill of Rights".

Polling places and voting

This section details past and potential election threats caused by the state's laws, regulations and practices on election practices, polling places, workers, providing election equipment, etc.

Poll worker training, recruitment and distribution

Voter ID requirements

  • According to an October, 2008 Demos study,[3] in Arizona,

Arizona has one of the nation’s strictest voter ID laws, requiring each voter to produce either a photo ID bearing the voter’s name and address or two forms of non-photo ID containing name and address. Those without ID can cast a provisional vote, but the ballot will be rejected unless the voter returns with acceptable ID within five days of the election. Nearly 2,000 ballots were rejected in 2006 because the voter was unable to produce appropriate ID, almost three times the national rate.

Polling place accessibility and wait times

  • According to FairVote[1], in 2004, "Voting lines were as long as 3-4 hours in some polling places."

Voting machine and ballot distribution

Malfunctioning voting machinery

  • For an extensive log of voting machine problems, see the VotersUnite! report on election incidents.[4]

Ballot design

Provisional ballots

This section lists past and potential election threats caused by the state's laws, regulations and practices on provisional ballots. Particularly, what are the state's criteria for receiving a provisional ballot (including voting in the wrong precinct) and its procedures for verifying eligibility and then including those votes in the totals.

Eligibility verification

  • According to FairVote[1], in 2004, "In Maricopa and Pima county some voters were issued a provisional ballot without any further investigation into the legitimacy of their registration and they were occcasionally told that their ballot probably wouldn't be counted anyway."

Ballots cast in wrong precinct

  • According to an October, 2008 Demos study,[3] in Arizona,

Over 30 percent of the 21,211 rejected provisional ballots were thrown out because they were cast in the wrong precinct.

Vote verification and security

This section details past and potential election threats caused by the state's laws, regulations and practices on vote verification and security.

Voting machine verification and security

Vote tabulation procedures

  • Nov 9, 2008: Tens of thousands of ballots remain to be counted in Maricopa County as of Sunday night.[5] Election officials say that approximately 112,000 voters used provisional ballots on election day (out of 1.7 million registered voters), and these ballots must be individually qualified before counting.[5] In many cases, the provisional ballot was issued because of address discrepancies between the voter rolls and the voter's I.D.; there were also reports of poll worker error on the part of the county's 7000+ volunteer poll workers. [6] County officials say that the number of provisional ballots was not unusually high this election, given the record number of registrations. In 2004, there were 1.6 million registered voters, and 60,000 provisional votes were cast. [6] An additional 90,000 early votes were unreadable by voting machines due to tears, stray marks or the use of unapproved ink. According to Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell, these votes must be copied onto new ballots by hand and reprocessed, a process which will take over a week. Several local and state races remain unresolved pending election results. [7]

Recount procedures

Chain of custody of ballots and e-voting equipment

  • An election integrity advocate was arrested for asking questions after observing that ballot bags without the required security seals were being counted.[8]

Election public official issues

Premature media race calling

Vote result challenge procedures

Articles and resources

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "FairVote, 2004 Electoral Problems - Arizona,"
  2. Erika Wood and Rachel Bloom,De Facto Disenfranchisement, Brennan Center for Justice and American Civil Liberties Union, October 21, 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Scott Navakowski, "Provisional Ballots: Where to Watch in 2008," a report from Demos, October, 200
  4. This past problem and description are from the VotersUnite! Election Problem Log. Click through for included links to origin of report.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lynh Bui, Lane still leads mayoral vote count, Arizona Republic, November 10, 2008.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Scott Wong,Scores in valley had to submit provisional vote, Arizona Republic, November 10, 2008.
  7. Howard Fischer,Votes still being counted in Maricopa County, Capitol Media Services, November 10, 2008.
  8. Brad Friedman, "Tucson's John Brakey 'Frog Marched' Out of Counting Room After Noticing Ballot Bags With Missing Security Seals," Sept. 7, 2008.

External articles

Articles and resources

See also


External resources

Poll location

Election Protection hotlines

Voting information

Voting rights

Voting requirements

Election officials, election reform groups, and elected officials

Absentee voting

Disabled voters

Student voting rights

State ballot

  • See how organizations you trust recommend you vote on ballot measures and other statewide contests at TransparentDemocracy.


  • Help in other languages from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 中文, 日本語, 한국어, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt, Español

Voting machines

External articles