Officials File Papers to Reject Finding and Counting Ballots of Some Not on Voter Registration Rolls

Phoenix, AZ – A 2004 ballot measure requires anyone wanting to register to vote
to provide proof of citizenship. But last month a federal appeals
court ruled that runs afoul of federal voter registration laws.
And the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund,
which sued in the first place, asked the court last week to force
counties to find the ballots of those who voted anyway but were
given provisional ballots because their names weren't on the
rolls. On Tuesday Secretary of State Ken Bennett said that would
create electoral chaos.

(Any application of that decision, especially retroatively, right
in the last few days of trying to get an election finished and
counted of all the other legitimate ballots that have been cast,
we think is just a complete wrong way of running the election.)

He said what MALDEF wants would force election workers to find
only the provisional ballots of those who did not get registered
because of lack of proof of citizenship out of 84,000 provisional
ballots cast. And he said there are probably so few that it
wouldn't really have an impact.

(Most people who did not get registered by Oct. 4 for whatever
reason probably did not choose to go down and vote at the polls
on election day.)

These unregistered voters aside, as of Tuesday night there were
about 59,000 provisional ballots yet to be tallied and another
30,000 early ballots. They could make a difference: The medical
marijuana measure is behind by only about 3,000 votes out of more
than 1 1/2 million cast. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard