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AZ: Confusion Erupts, Could Delay Results

By Ann Scott Tyson
Confusion erupted at some Arizona polling places today when some voters arrived to cast ballots -- only to be told their vote wouldn't count, or to be turned away.

The glitch arose because Arizona's independent voters mistakenly believed that because they are allowed to vote for Democrats or Republicans in other elections, they could also do so in presidential primaries like the one today, according to state officials. But by state law, today's primaries are open only to registered party members.

"Unfortunately, these folks are being issued a provisional ballot and told it will not count" or, in some counties, are not being allowed to vote, said Kevin Tyne, deputy secretary of state.

For this and other reasons, Tyne estimates that there will be more than 100,000 provisional ballots cast that will take about a week to process. If the race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is as close as expected, the result in Arizona could be delayed for several days, Tyne said.

Arizona has 67 Democratic and 53 Republican delegates up for grabs. John McCain is expected to win by a comfortable margin in his home state.

By Washington Post editors  |  February 5, 2008; 6:52 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Primaries , West  
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Next: GA: Obama Sweeps the State

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