CD 2 Update: waiting for Pima County updated count later today

Arizona Secretary of State, Website last updated:11/6/2014 9:08:35 AM MST

Ron Barber (D)          92,810  49.43%

Martha McSally(R)   94,103  50.12%

barber mcsallyMartha McSally widened her lead to 1,293 over Congressman Ron Barber after Cochise County had Graham County submit their data for them, because they could not. The Sierra Vista Herald reports, County finishes counting (not quite):

Cochise County used Graham County’s tabulation equipment after mechanical problems caused a delay in counting ballots cast in the Aug. 26 primary election.

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There are still 1,500 provisional ballots and 1,800 early ballots that were turned in at the polls — still at the County Recorder’s Office for verification before being counted. Those ballots should be processed within a few days.

A press release from Pima County on Wednesday:

Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez said this evening that her office has completed verification of 23,234 early ballots and has turned them over to the Elections Department for counting. There are no early ballots remaining needing verification.

Tomorrow morning, Nov. 6, her staff will begin work verifying the 9,856 provisional ballots cast Nov. 4, and the 256 conditional provisional ballots. A conditional provisional ballot is one that is cast by a voter without identification sufficient to meet the requirements of state law. They have until next Wednesday, Nov. 12, to produce sufficient ID in order to have their ballot counted. [If you are one of these voters, get yourself over to the County Recorder’s office with your identification today! Every vote counts.]

Deputy Recorder Chris Roads said verifying provisional ballots takes longer than an early ballot and it may take as long as 10 days to finish verifying the provisional ballots.

As for counting the ballots, Elections Director Brad Nelson said he expects to upload new results from today’s counting within the hour. Elections started the day with roughly 14,200 early ballots to count but has since received another 23,324 from the Recorder’s office for an estimated total of 37,524 verified early ballots to count today. When I have new numbers from Mr. Nelson on the number of ballots counted today and ballots remaining to be counted (if any) I’ll send out a new alert.

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There is no way to know how many of the remaining 34,000 plus ballots to be counted are from CD 2. However, the Pima County Elections Department count for just Pima County shows Ron Barber leading by 3.34% [Note: Barber’s advantage in Pima County early ballots was much larger than this, and we are talking about Pima County early ballots being processed]:

Ron Barber (D)   79,395  51.46%

Martha McSally  74,239  48.12%

If that differential were to hold for the remaining ballots from CD 2, it is probable that Barber will erase McSally’s slim lead. This could come down to just a few hundred votes. The 23,234 early ballots being counted this morning, and any of the 9,856 provisional ballots completed today will be included in the updated count later this afternoon.

In case you are wondering, the provision for an automatic recount is at A.R.S. § 16-661:

A. A recount of the vote is required when the canvass of returns in a primary or general election shows that the margin between the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes for a particular office, or between the number of votes cast for and against initiated or referred measures or proposals to amend the Constitution of Arizona, is less than or equal to the lesser of the following:

1. One-tenth of one per cent of the number of votes cast for both such candidates or upon such measures or proposals.

2. Two hundred votes in the case of an office to be filled by state electors and for which the total number of votes cast is more than twenty-five thousand.

3. Fifty votes in the case of an office to be filled by state electors and for which the total number of votes cast is twenty-five thousand or less.

4. Two hundred votes in the case of an initiated or referred measure or proposal to amend the constitution.

5. Fifty votes in the case of a member of the legislature.

6. Ten votes in the case of an office to be filled by the electors of a city or town or a county or subdivision of a city, town or county.

One tenth of one percent is extremely rare event. I don’t recall that it has ever occurred in a congressional race in Arizona.

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