Big announcements were made after Arizonans cast their ballots on Tuesday, but nearly 475,000 votes are still being counted in Maricopa County, leaving some close statewide races undetermined. The Maricopa County Recorder will update its ballot count at 5 p.m. today.
But the Republican Parties of Yuma, Navajo, Apache and Maricopa today filed a lawsuit yesterday to seek a temporary restraining order to ensure equal treatment of early ballots among Arizona’s 15 counties. They are challenging the way counties verify signatures on mail-in ballots that are dropped off at the polls on Election Day.
The GOP is arguing a misuse of “emergency” early voting. Some counties believe that if there is a mismatch of signature that they can contact those voters after election day. However, the lawsuit is arguing that state law says that the county recorders can only contact voters prior to the election.
“A foundational principle of American democracy and our justice system is that all votes are treated equally,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Lines in a statement. “This equal protection under the law is enshrined in our Constitution. It is not fair nor just that voters in one county are treated differently under the law from other voters in Arizona. This suit seeks immediate redress of any inequality between ballots cast across Arizona. We stand behind our local county parties demand for equal treatment.”
Maricopa County Judge Mahoney requested briefs from both sides tonight and scheduled a hearing for 2 p.m tomorrow. In the meantime, counties will continue to count ballots.
The uncounted Maricopa County ballots have left some statewide and legislative races up in the air:
- Congresswoman Martha McSally (R) and Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D) are neck and neck for the Arizona Senate seat. The race is still too close to call with McSally ahead of Sinema by 17,073 votes (.9 percent).
- As of yesterday afternoon, Frank Riggs (R) led the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction by more than 7,852 votes (.4 percent) against Kathy Hoffman (D).
- Secretary of State, another close race, will be announced when ballot counts are reported. Steve Gaynor (R) is ahead of Katie Hobbs (D) by 44,024 votes (2.6 percent). 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 32,535 votes. Jennifer Pawlik (D) is ahead of Nora Ellen (R) by just 434 votes.
- In the Legislative District 28 House race, Kelli Butler is in the lead with a total 32,232 votes. Aaron Lieberman (D) is ahead of Maria Syms (R) by just 586 votes. Syms is ahead of Kathy Pappas Petsas (R) by 430 votes.
- For State Senator in Legislative District 28, Kate Brophy McGee (R) is ahead of Christine Marsh (D) by 1,458 votes.
In addition to Maricopa County, the following Arizona counties had outstanding ballots as of yesterday afternoon:
La Paz: 576
Santa Cruz: 2.2K