Red-faced in Arizona

Taking a look at the Electoral College map on election night, I was astonished to see a big red state, Arizona, voting overwhelmingly for  Republican Mitt Romney in the middle of a sea of blue Democrat states with similar demographics who all voted for President Obama.

Since an invigorated turnout of Hispanic and blacks is given substantial credit for Obama’s victory, I began to wonder.  What’s going on here?

I checked the demographics one more time using the U.S. Census website.   New Mexico 46.7% Hispanics, 2.5% blacks.  California 38.1 and 6.5.  Arizona 30.1 and 4.5.  Nevada 27.1 and 8.6.  Colorado 20.9 and 4.3.  Only Arizona went to Romney.

By late last week it became increasing clear to some:  Voter suppression had raised its ugly head here in Arizona in a big way.  Of the 1.8 million votes cast, 631,000 were uncounted.  Of those, most were believed to be votes for Democrats by Hispanics and blacks voting for the first time.  The counting as of today, eight days after the election, is ongoing.  Arizona is the last state to tally a final vote.

Of the uncounted almost 343,000 were reported as provisional ballots.  Those  provisional-ballot voters who did not provide “acceptable” identification, must appear at specific locations with required ID by 5 p.m. tomorrow.  Otherwise their vote will not be counted.

Unless courts or the federal government intervenes.

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