Arizona: “Pinal County election results: 500-vote discrepancy was ‘human error'”

Arizona Republic:

Three months after a disastrous primary, Pinal County seemed to pull off a smooth Election Day in November.

But the county made errors in counting some ballots, officials said as a 500-vote discrepancy between certified election tallies and recounted results came to light on Thursday.

“The purpose of a recount is to ensure accurate vote totals are put forth, as it is reasonable to expect some level of human error in a dynamic, high-stress, deadline intensive process involving counting hundreds of thousands of ballots,” county officials said in a statement. “The recount process did what it was supposed to do — it identified a roughly 500 vote undercount in the Pinal County election attributable to human error.”

The county, which runs south and east of Maricopa County, is home to about 450,000 residents and has experienced rapid growth in recent years. About 140,000 voters cast ballots there in the November election….

And the Pinal County discrepancy, which officials say can be chalked up to paper jams and staff error, put more egg on the face of a county that already had endured a tumultuous election cycle.

It’s also fueled those who distrust the results. Hamadeh made clear hours after the recount results were released that he is not giving up his election challenge, issuing a statement calling for an inspection of “all of the ballots” and saying thousands of provisional ballots from the Nov. 8 election had not been counted.

People cast provisional ballots if there is doubt about their eligibility to vote. These ballots can remain uncounted if election officials determine the voter is not qualified to participate.

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