Notable Counties—Yes, Maricopa County is Back Again
Once again the elections office in Maricopa County, Arizona has provided detailed data about its elections process, this time for the February 28 presidential primary.
In the past we have looked at provisional ballots and voter ID as well as online voter registration in Maricopa County. This time around we focus on the new system the county implemented to process provisional ballots.
Previously, the thousands of provisional ballots the county received during major elections—more than 12,000 in February—were processed by hand. For this most recent election, a new electronic system developed by the office’s IT staff was used, scanning each ballot into a computer for processing. The system checks a number of factors—registration status, age, and polling place location, for example—and flags any ballots that raise questions of eligibility.
The system also automatically updates a voter’s registration record if there is a change in the residence address, mailing address, or name. This past election, the information of more than 1,700 voters was updated, equating to approximately 14 percent of provisional ballots cast.
County officials estimate that automating this process will save the county at least $15,000 during the fall election cycle.