Arizona Republicans sue county recorders over ballots

09 November, 2018, 06:55 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • US President Donald Trump

Arizona's nationally-watched and incredibly tight Senate race between Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kristin Sinema may not have a declared victor until Thursday or even next week because, ironically, the state's voters like to cast their ballots early.

"McSally, the Republican Party nominee, leads her Democratic challenger, Sinema, 49 percent to 48 percent in the latest poll to come out on Arizona's Senate election".

There are still hundreds of thousands of votes to be counted in the last one percent of districts (including the very blue Tucson), with many speculating that the victor will not be named for several days.

If the signature on a ballot dropped off on Election Day does not match the signature on file for a voter, recorders in several Democrat-heavy counties - including Maricopa County and Pima County - call voters to verify that they signed the ballot for up to five days after the election.

"The counties receive hundreds of thousands of early ballots at their polling places", Matthew Roberts, director of communications at the Arizona Secretary of State's office, told The Hill.

The plaintiffs in the suit are the separate Republican Party divisions for the counties of Yuma, Navajo, Apache, and Maricopa, and the complaint deals with the signature verification process for mail-in ballots.

The lawsuit seeks to prevent the state's two largest counties from contacting voters if there are problems verifying signatures on their early ballots. 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. McSally and her GOP allies often tried to use Sinema's past against her, casting her as a far-left politician masquerading as a moderate.

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Sinema's lead in Maricopa is only about 8,000 votes out of more than 971,000 already counted there. A judge ruled Thursday that the current vote counting could go on. "Once they are counted, we are confident that Kyrsten Sinema will be the next Senator for the state of Arizona", Piatt said.

Green said in her statement: "I knew I wasn't going to win, so being a true candidate for the people and not the politics, I felt that if I withdrew and could endorse a candidate closest to the ideas and views of those whom I represent, then at least I can feel as though this withdrawal from the Senate race will not be in vain".

Democrats hope Sinema can reverse a decade-long losing streak in all Arizona statewide races.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey was easily re-elected over a challenge from Democrat David Garcia, a college education professor. Almost 9,000 votes separate McSally from Sinema. The GOP notched victories in Attorney General, Treasurer and Secretary of State races as well. That seat is now held by a Democrat.

The Senate contest was the marquee race, featuring two champion fundraisers who are no strangers to tight races. They are battling over the seat vacated by Sen.

Donald Trump won Arizona by 4 points in the 2016 presidential election.

The Green Party candidate, Angela Green, has 43,838 votes (2.31%).

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