Notable County: Maricopa County, Arizona-Part I

Return to Election Data Dispatches.


We return yet again to Maricopa County, Arizona and the plentiful data its county recorder’s office makes publicly available on a regular basis.

The county and the state received a great deal of attention for the length of time it took to process provisional and absentee ballots this past November. As noted in the county’s post-election report, though, the processing — as well as other post-election tasks — actually took one day less than in 2008, even though there were over 20,000 more provisional ballots cast in 2012 than in 2008.

A closer analysis offers more detail:

  • The more than 120,000 provisional ballots were the most the county has ever seen and were 9 percent of all ballots cast, higher than both the 7 percent rate in 2008 and 6 percent in 2004.
  • Of the ballots issued, nearly 100,000, or 81 percent, were counted compared with 71 percent counted in 2008.
  • Nearly half – almost 60,000 - of the ballots issued were cast by voters who requested but did not return an early ballot. This was a significant increase over the 25,000 issued for this reason in 2008, making up approximately one-quarter of all 2012 provisional ballots cast.

In our next dispatch we will examine the impact of online voter registration in the county.

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