Legal Battle Emerges as Arizona Senate Vote Count Drags On

09 November, 2018, 06:54 | Author: Orlando Hughes
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If that's the case, it will be some time before we know who won the U.S. Senate race between Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally.

Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema are running neck and neck.

Only a small fraction of votes separated the candidates, with McSally ticking ahead with 99 percent of precincts counted, according to the Secretary of State's website.

Nearly 1 million votes were still outstanding as of early Wednesday, secretary of state Garrett Archer said, only half of which were going to get counted by the end of Election Day.

A tweet late Wednesday from Garrett Archer, a data analyst with the Arizona secretary of state's office, estimated about 475,000 ballots outstanding in Maricopa County, 59,000 ballots remaining in Pima County, and another 35,000 outstanding in Pinal County, with a handful of other counties having about 5,000 or fewer outstanding ballots as well.

Both candidates said nothing publicly Tuesday night as the ballots were slowly counted.

County officials were still counting more than 600,000 ballots when four local Republican parties filed the lawsuit Wednesday night.

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Currently, several other counties that lean Republican destroy mail ballots if voters don't help verify their signatures before polls close on Election Day. The lawsuit asks a judge to prevent county officials from counting certain ballots that were delivered with signature issues. But many ballots known as "late earlies" arrive in the mail on Election Day, in the few days leading up to it or are hand delivered by the voters themselves.

Even closer is the bid by Democrat Jennifer Pawlik of Chandler to win a House seat being vacated by J.D. Mesnard, who is moving to the Senate.

Meanwhile another Republican leads, though the gap is tightening, as votes are being counted in Florida's Senate race. "That's absolutely wrong, and the Arizona Democratic Party is fully prepared to fight to ensure that every last Arizonan has their vote counted". That's a shift from a race that drew national attention for its tense battle between two candidates vying to be Arizona's first female senator.

Democrats hope Sinema can reverse a decade-long losing streak in all Arizona statewide races. She has tried to rally Republican voters by emphasizing her military background as the first US female combat pilot while touting her support for the president's tax cut and other parts of his agenda.

During her 2016 campaign to be re-elected to her Tucson area swing district House seat, McSally criticized Trump for attacking the parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq and for a videotape in which the future president bragged about sexually assaulting women.

Green ran as the Green Party candidate but dropped out on November 1, five days before Election Day - and endorsed Sinema.

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