More statewide ballots were counted and reported to the Arizona Secretary of State last night, slowly shrinking the number of uncounted ballots. Nearly 345,000 ballots are still being counted in Maricopa County, leaving some close statewide and even a few legislative races undetermined. The Maricopa County Recorder will update its ballot count at 5 p.m. today.
This biggest shift yesterday was in the race between Congresswoman Martha McSally (R) and Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D), who are still neck and neck for the U.S. Senate seat, but Sinema has now taken the lead. The race is still too close to call with Sinema ahead of McSally by 8,936 votes (.45 percent).
Kyrsten Sinema’s campaign manager released the following statement prior Maricopa County releasing the latest numbers, feeling confident Sinema will be the next senator:
“Arizonans must have faith that their votes are counted, and we are working diligently to ensure that count proceeds in a fair, transparent, and timely manner that voters can trust. To that end, we have spent the hours since the polls closed tracking down ballots and know there are more than 600,000 left to be counted across the state. We also know that when the Maricopa County Recorder releases its first batch of ballots this evening, there will still be approximately half a million votes left to count. Once they are counted, we are confident that Kyrsten Sinema will be the next Senator for the state of Arizona.”
However, McSally’s team is equally confident that the former fighter pilot will be elected Arizona’s next U.S. Senator. McSally Campaign CEO Jim Bognet said in a written statement, “With half a million ballots left to count we remain confident that as votes continue to come in from counties across the state, Martha McSally will be elected Arizona’s next Senator.”
According to the McSally campaign, the bulk of the remaining ballots are those dropped at the polls on Election Day. The campaign believes approximately 200,000 votes to favor Martha because more high propensity Republican early voters had not turned in their early ballots as of Election Day.
Regardless, the votes cast for the two Senate candidates in Maricopa County have now surpassed the number of ballots cast in 2016 for then-presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
The uncounted ballots have left some statewide and legislative races up in the air. As of this morning:
- Kathy Hoffman (D) now leads Frank Riggs (R) in the race for superintendent of public instruction by more than 20,066 votes (1 percent).
- Steve Gaynor (R) is ahead of Katie Hobbs (D) by 20,184 votes (.5 percent) for secretary of state. Although the AP called the race on election night, Hobbs has yet to concede.
- In Legislative District 17, three candidates are vying for two seats in the Arizona House of Representatives. Jeff Weninger (R) is in the lead with a total of 36,504 votes. Jennifer Pawlik (D) is gaining traction ahead of Nora Ellen (R) by 1,763 votes.
- In the Legislative District 28 House race, Kelli Butler is in the lead with a total of 36,983 votes. Aaron Lieberman (D) has extended his lead ahead of Maria Syms (R) by 1,441 votes. Syms is ahead of Kathy Pappas Petsas (R) by 499 votes.
- For state senator in Legislative District 28, Kate Brophy McGee (R) is ahead of Christine Marsh (D) by 808 votes.
- The margin for the Corporation Commission is shrinking as Justin Olson (R) is in the lead with 860,727 votes. Rodney Glassman (R) is ahead of Sandra Kennedy (D) by 6,950 votes. Kiana Sears (D) trails Kennedy by 59,664 votes.
In addition to Maricopa County, the following Arizona counties had outstanding ballots as of yesterday afternoon:
- Apache: 2.9k
- Cochise: 626
- Coconino: 10.5k
- Gila: unknown (0 est.)
- La Paz: 576
- Maricopa: 345k
- Mohave: 4k
- Navajo: 4k
- Pima: 53k
- Pinal: 29k
- Santa Cruz: 2.2k
- Yavapai: 4k
- Yuma: 341