Ken Bennett's Explanation of Provisional Ballot Issues Disputed by Organizer

Categories: Election 2012
bennett-cspan.jpg
C-SPAN
Secretary of State Ken Bennett testifying before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee .
The cause of the provisional-ballot uproar has not been solved. At least, there doesn't appear to be an agreement over the cause.

Although Secretary of State Ken Bennett said one of the people involved in an effort to register 34,000 new Latino voters admitted that they were checking the permanent early-voting list box on registration forms without the voters' knowledge, the details of that meeting are in dispute.

See also:
-Ken Bennett: Latino Voters Cast Provisionals Thanks to Those Who Registered Them
-Ken Bennett Counts Ballots, Democrat Mary Rose Wilcox Defends County Elections
-Activists Urge Penzone, Carmona, to Retract Concessions
-Maricopa County Elections Department Starting Spanish Campaign
-Helen Purcell: Accusation About Spanish Errors a "Malicious Lie"

Bennett's spokesman Matt Roberts told New Times that this information -- which Bennett presented to a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee a few weeks ago -- came from a meeting with a few people who were concerned about the provisional-ballot issue.

Bennett has said that Latino voters did not end up casting provisional ballots at higher rates than other races, but did have that explanation for why some of those 34,000 new Latino voters may have showed up to the polls on Election Day, despite already being sent an early-voting ballot.

One of the organizers involved in the registration of those voters, and the meeting with Bennett, Unite Here! organizer Brendan Walsh, tells New Times that he doesn't recall anyone saying that they were checking the permanent early-voting list box without the new voters' knowledge.

"And that certainly was not what we trained our volunteers to do when registering voters," Walsh says in an e-mail.

Walsh said that they did discuss early-voter registration in the meeting, and said both the community organizers and Bennett agreed that education and access to information for Latino voters might help solve some of the issues voters have had in the past with the early-voting registration.

Still, he contends that no one admitted to signing up these voters to the early-voting list without their knowledge.

"So, rather than sitting down to work together to expand voting access among Latinos and low-income residents of Arizona, Bennett seems to be trying to deflect attention from the real challenge--that our system, as it exists, has problems absorbing the massive numbers of new voters that ongoing community organizing efforts like ours have helped to generate over the last three years," Walsh says.

Still, Bennett's explanation before the Senate subcommittee is consistent with what a county official told our colleague Stephen Lemons at the time, when concerns were raised over the amount of provisional ballots being cast.

"[County elections director Karen] Osborne told me that in her review of the provisional ballots, she believes that the number one reason people voted provisionally was because they were signed up for PEVL, but decided to vote at a polling place for whatever reason," Lemons wrote.

Either way, Roberts, Bennett's spokesman, said his boss is hoping to push for the legislature to make it clear that only the voter can check the permanent early-voting list box on their registration form.


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4 comments
david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

the GOP engaged in voter fraud this past election that rivals Zimbabwe's...tried to change voting times to limit them in ethnic areas while leaving predominantly white ones alone in a few states. Tried to illegally purge rolls of living citizens by claiming they were dead...and these are the same assholes who whined and called for criminal charges against ACORN??? lmao ACORN is an infant compared to what they pulled...

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@ExpertShot @david_saint01 they did get caught registering people fraudulently i thought? eh, either way...you get the point. They were screaming to high heaven about voter fraud and the need for tough laws, and their own actions were worse than what they claimed was already happening.  

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@david_saint01 politics is no longer about issues, its about who can piss and moan about the other side more. its like watching 3 year olds arguing on the playground these days. remember when it used to be respectable to be a politician?

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