57% of Pima Democrats Voted in the Presidential Preference Election

In Pima County, 133,809 Democrats voted in the Democratic Presidential Preference Election (PPE) held on March 17, 2020. The Pima County Recorder’s Office mailed 185,714 ballots, and 119,852 of these were returned by mail or returned to an Early Voting Site or Emergency Voting Site.This is a return rate of 65%. Other Democrats voted regular ballots on Election Day at the polls, at Early Voting Sites February 19, 2020 –March 13, 2020, or in person at Emergency Voting Sites on March 16. An additional small percentage of voters voted by provisional ballot.

Overall, 57% of all Pima County registered Democrats voted in this election.The participation rate is slightly higher than the 2016 Democratic PPE when 54% of Democrats voted.

The Pima County Recorder’s office spent the 5 business days after Election Day checking provisional ballots. Voters vote a provisional ballot for a variety of reasons, including being issued an early ballot, moving to a new address in a different polling location or not providing the appropriate identification. The provisional status allows staff to research the voter to determine identity and eligibility. It takes time to confirm that the voter is eligible to vote in the specific election and that the provisional ballot can be counted.

Pima County issued 3,443 provisional ballots. Of those 70% (2,402) are valid, and 30% (1,041) are invalid. “Our staff worked diligently to determine the status of provisional ballots,” says Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez. “We researched voter registration records, reviewing them thoroughly to determine the validity of the ballot.”

She encourages voters who voted a provisional ballot to check their ballot status on the Pima County Recorder website: https://www.recorder.pima.gov/VoterStats/receiptdata

According to Arizona statute, the Presidential Preference Election is limited to voters from the party holding the election; in this PPE, only Democrats were eligible to vote. Following federal statute, Pima County will not turn away voters at the polls even when they are ineligible to votebecause of party affiliation. That’s why for the Democratic Presidential Preference Election, 75% of invalid provisional ballots were cast by voters who were not Democrats. Theseinvalid provisional ballots came from registered voters in the Republican, Libertarian, and Green parties; Independents; voters who were registered with parties not recognized by Pima County; and voters without party affiliation. Another 9% of invalid provisional ballots were cast by people not registered to vote.

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