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Maricopa County verifying last-minute 'curing' requests

Maricopa County is dealing with thousands of last-minute ballot curing requests that may, or may not, be legitimate.

PHOENIX — Maricopa County is currently handling thousands of ballot curing requests that came in at the last minute, election officials said. 

But not all of them may be legitimate curing requests, those officials said. 

Curing is a process by which voters who had their ballots rejected can appeal to have them counted. Usually, ballots are rejected because of a signature mismatch.

The deadline to submit a curing request was Wednesday at 5 p.m. and county election officials say instead of the few hundred requests they usually get, thousands of people have contacted them to cure their ballots.

But, some of them may not have even voted, according to election officials.

"It's looking like some of them are not registered voters," spokesperson Megan Gilbertson said.

Gilbertson said the county contacts voters who had their ballots rejected and offers a path to challenge the disqualification. This year, they also included a link with a text message.

"So that link was shared a little more broadly than to those voters that were impacted," Gilbertson said. 

But the county does have to investigate every curing request, Gilbertson said. 

The county also said there are 4,845 provisional ballots that were rejected and will not be counted. 

Provisional ballots are given out on election day. Voters whose names did not appear on the voter rolls on election day, or had changed their names or were already sent a mail-in ballot can vote with a provisional ballot. 

"The majority of them are not registered to vote," Gilbertson said. Because they weren't registered ahead of time, those provisional ballots cannot be counted. 

Usually, ballot curing has minimal impact on election results but the Arizona Attorney Generals race has come down to under 100 votes as of 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Any of those cured ballots could be the deciding vote.

Decision 2022

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