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Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting

The Latest

State, county policies impact rejected ballot rates in November election

Election officials didn’t count 27,327 ballots cast by Arizona voters in the November election, rejecting more than twice the 10,457 votes that flipped the state for President-elect Joe Biden in what was the closest raw vote margin of any state in the nation. The uncounted votes, which are legally rejected by officials for reasons such as a missing signature, don’t indicate fraud or election irregularities.


Coronavirus

COVID-19 cases grow at Arizona jail with largest concentration of U.S. Marshals detainees in nation

A private facility in Florence, Arizona that houses more than 3,000 defendants awaiting federal court proceedings is grappling with an outbreak of COVID-19 where at least 20 jail staff and detainees have tested positive since the facility’s first confirmed case in late April. Close to two hundred more detainees are in isolation or quarantine due to exposure to the virus, according to Arizona U.S. Marshal David Gonzales.

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Elections

History of rejected Arizona ballots creates further election uncertainty

Less than a month away from the November election, Arizona’s voter registration deadline has changed twice in two weeks, putting into question whether the latest update will reach voters in time, and leaving the possibility that large numbers of ballots could be rejected. Nearly 14,000 ballots in Arizona’s 2016 presidential election were rejected by county officials because voters weren’t registered in the state or didn’t register by the state’s deadline. They represent 44% of the more than 31,000 ballots thrown out that year, according to an AZCIR analysis of rejected ballots.


Health

Sick and Alone

Most of America’s county jails escape lawsuits seeking reforms for inmates with serious mental illness. Now Arizona’s Cochise County has joined hundreds of other small counties innovating ways to keep people with serious mental illness out of their jails. But it comes too late for Adrian Perez, who has spent the past 13 years cycling in and out of jail, and solitary confinement, which only makes him sicker.

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Law enforcement

Environment

Despite 2016 law, Salt River horses remain unmanaged

Despite 2016 law, Salt River horses remain unmanaged, are not part of the natural ecosystem of the Salt River or even the American Southwest, but an invasive species, that, according to wildlife experts and scientists, is causing catastrophic harm to the Salt River’s natural ecosystem.