Despite ruling, last minute registrations will be accepted

Mohave County Elections Director Allen Tempert.

Photo by JC Amberlyn.

Mohave County Elections Director Allen Tempert.

KINGMAN – If you waited until the very last possible minute to register to vote in Tuesday’s election and were worried it wouldn’t be counted, you’re in luck. Despite U.S. District Court Judge Steven Logan’s ruling Thursday not to order Secretary of State Michele Reagan to recognize more than 2,000 statewide voters who registered on Oct. 11 – a day later than the Oct. 10 deadline – Mohave County residents who dropped of an application will have their ballots counted Nov. 8.

After a furious day of counting early ballots and convening conference calls with county attorneys and the Secretary of State’s office, Voter Registration Administrative Supervisor Kim Stewart said Mohave County is in the green. “The voters who registered on the eleventh will (be able to) vote,” she said. “The state will honor those that Mohave entered on Oct. 11 due to us being closed on the 10th.”

There was no word on how many Mohave County voters who filled out a registration form Oct. 11 would’ve been affected had the state stuck with its decision.

According to Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services, Logan recognized the Oct. 10 deadline and acknowledged Arizona law says deadlines that fall on a holiday, they can be moved to the next business day, but pointed out the deadline had been known for months.

The debate started in October when the Arizona Democratic Party filed suit over Reagan’s refusal to accept more than 2,000 applications on Oct 11.

Arizona law states the last day to register is the 29th day before the election, which was Oct. 10, Columbus Day, a federal holiday, when government offices are closed, including the Mohave County Voter Registration Office.

Stewart has already verified the county administration building was closed, but the recorder’s office was open, and a box to drop off registrations was available outside. Voter registration employees were available by phone to answer questions, if necessary.

Stewart said more people called about taxes than voting and only a handful of people showed up to register.

“We didn’t hamper anyone’s need to register that day,” she said.