This is not complicated, but it’s getting overlooked. Not everyone’s vote today in Arizona will be counted. Arizona is holding a Presidential Preference Election. Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan has told the public, repeatedly, only registered voters of participating, recognized political parties can cast their votes today. That means Republican, Democrat or Green Party votes will be counted. “Independent” is not a party. She’s told them here, and here, and here’s a press release from back in January:
“It’s important to remember, Arizona’s “open primary” provisions do not apply to the presidential preference election. In order to cast a ballot in the March 22nd election, “independents” must be registered with a participating political party by February 22, 2016.”
Got that? Everybody knows the drill, right? Not exactly. There are complaints of long lines at Arizona polling stations and Arizona Central found part of the problem at one place was the Independents.
“These are independent voters,” Maricopa County Elections Director Karen Osborne said. “They refuse to not vote, and federal law requires they be given a ballot.”
But if the voter casting the provisional ballot is determined to not be registered with one of the three parties, their vote will not count.
“In Coconino County, they’re handing them out like candy,” Osborne said of the provisional ballots.”
In Pima County, Elections director Brad Nelson reminded everyone of the registered party rule. He also reminded them of what happened in the county eight years ago:
“During the last presidential election in 2008, out of the 12,000 plus provisional ballots, 8,000 plus could not be counted,” said Nelson. “Don’t slow everyone down.”
PS. I’m only bringing this up now only because I can imagine tomorrow’s headlines.
*all emphasis mine