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Election official: Claims of voter registration fraud not true
The Yuma County Recorder's Office says it has processed a large number of requests to be put on the permanent early voter list but claims of fraudulent voter registration is not an issue in Yuma County, despite reports in the blogosphere.
On Oct. 20, The Yuma Sun reported that representatives with two organizations, Mi Familia Vota and One Arizona, registered 3,000 eligible Hispanic voters for permanent early voting ballots.
This apparently led to claims on the Internet that there were groups fraudulently “registering” voters here, and Yuma County Recorder Robyn Stallworth Pouquette said Monday that is not true.
Enrolling voters on the permanent early voting ballot list is different than registering people to vote, she said.
Stallworth Pouquette said the deadline to register for the general election was Oct. 4. and the Yuma County Recorder's Office has not accepted any voter registrations for the upcoming general election past that deadline.
The deadline to register for the early ballot was Oct. 22.
Stallworth Pouquette said the Yuma County Recorder's Office has processed “an inordinately large number of requests for enrollment on the permanent early voter list (PEVL)” this election cycle, and that required extra work because “each individual request is processed to verify registration and eligibility or status of registration.”
“During this election cycle, the Recorder's Office has processed over 14,000 PEVL requests, and over 8,000 eligible voters have been added to the PEVL in Yuma County,” she said. “The remaining requests were reviewed and rejected, under Arizona law, either due to the fact the request was a duplicate or the requestor was not eligible to vote in this election or within the jurisdiction.”
“The recorder has maintained checks and to maintain the integrity of every election conducted in Yuma County and staff is working overtime so that every request received is properly processed according to Arizona law,” she said.
To help prevent duplicate requests to be enrolled on the PEVL, she said voters should remember they only need to request it once.
“After the initial PEVL is received and processed that voter is registered for every election in the future.”
After some reports of the perceived voter fraud hit the Internet over the weekend, one local group of residents held a protest Monday evening on the corner of 24th Street and 4th Avenue. One report of “voter registration” came from a blog called Publius Pundit; it was also circulated on other websites.
Community organizer Sally Kizer told the Yuma Sun that while she is a member of the Colorado River Tea Party, the protest was not in conjunction with the group.
She said there are similar claims of voter fraud throughout the state.
“We just want clean elections,” she said. “We want voters to come to the ballot boxes and put their own ballots in there (instead of using early ballots).”
Stephanie A. Wilken can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6857.