Settlement reached in tight Arizona Senate vote count

13 November, 2018, 06:14 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Bill Clark  CQ-Roll Call Group

The suit challenged the state's two biggest counties for allowing voters to help resolve problems with their mail-in ballot signatures after Election Day.

Sinema now leads Republican Martha McSally by more than 30,000 votes.

Arizona GOP elected officials, including McSally's camp, have defended the lengthy process and said the state must make sure every ballot is counted.

"Kyrsten has now expanded her overall lead to 32,640 or 1.52 percent, meaning McSally would have to win the remainder of Maricopa ballots by 22 percent to take the lead in this race", Sinema spokesman Andrew Piatt said in a statement.

The good news for Sinema is there still are another 150,000 ballots from the Democratic-favorable days waiting to be counted in Maricopa County.

Spencer Scharff who represents the League of Women Voters and the Arizona Advocacy Network, pointed out the deal covers only what happens right now. Yesterday, that resulted in Democrat Kyrsten Sinema taking the lead in the race for the first time since election night.

In Arizona, Sinema led comfortably in polling throughout the summer and fall, but McSally closed the gap by late October. Jake Flake, R-Ariz., who is retiring. Three hours earlier, her lead was 18,539.

The race remained too close to call with at least 400,000 ballots still uncounted.

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That can include an election worker deciding that a signature on the envelope used to deliver the ballot doesn't match the voter's signature on record closely enough.

Local Republicans have brought a legal case against Fontes and other county recorders over the verification of signatures on some early ballots. Now, all will follow the "cure" standard.

That left Republicans with the alternative of requiring the other 11 counties to also give their voters more opportunity to explain signature disparities.

"This is a really great day for us", state GOP attorney Kory Langhofer said. "They have to get a viable argument before the judge in roughly a week or so".

But the president, perhaps indicating he did not understand the legal issue of mismatched signatures between early ballot envelopes and county records, later sent out a tweet reading, "Just out - in Arizona, SIGNATURES DON'T MATCH". The Associated Press called the race Monday evening after six days of post-Election Day ballot counting. "We must protect our Democracy!"

Maricopa County is historically a Republican county, but that doesn't matter.

Asked about the comment, Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, who oversaw GOP election efforts in the Senate this cycle, didn't offer any example of destroying evidence.

Maricopa County has 266,000 ballots to be counted. "It's something I never thought was allowed under the law".


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