FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Saturday, November 8, 2014

UPDATED VOTE COUNT WATCH, ARIZONA: 13,000 Votes Left In Pima County, No New Tallies 'Til Monday (AZ Star)

With confirmation that Pima County has about 13,000 ballots remaining to be processed - ballots that needed to be re-marked and provisionals - it is apparent that the 509-vote lead currently held by Martha McSally in her campaign to knock off incumbent Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) is in jeopardy.

Congressional District 2 is made up of the southeastern border county of Cochise and about 2/3 of the Tucson-dominated Pima County.  McSally has drawn well in Cochise County (21,731-14,681), but has consistently been out-polled in Pima County (83,956-90,497).

If (major *if*) the Secretary of State's Friday morning numbers are correct, Cochise County is close to completing its ballot count. And, with Pima County's 13,000 remaining ballot figure, it is likely that the 509-vote lead will shrink.

***
To recap the problem with last night's Arizona's Politics article:

1) On Friday morning (8am), the Arizona Secretary of State released a table with the "estimated outstanding ballots" by county.  It indicated that Pima County had 8,040 early ballots left to process, and 10,131 provisionals. Cochise County had 2,081 & 1,141, respectively.

2) Pima County updated its numbers at 8:30am on Friday, noting that it had 14,000 ballots ready to be counted that day, 9,856 provisional ballots that needed to be verified before counting, and 275 conditional provisionals. (Voters had until Friday to provide proof that their conditional provisional ballot should be counted.) Arizona's Politics was not aware of the Pima County update... and apparently, neither was the Secretary of State's.

3) By early evening on Friday, Pima had added more than 16,000 votes to its tally, and Cochise added approximately 3,000.

4) Subtracting the tallied votes from the Secy of State's 8am numbers, there were few or no ballots left to be processed in either county.

PRESENT: Pima County's own publicly-available numbers from Friday/8:30am, the Friday tally, and the Saturday afternoon outstanding ballots number STILL do not add up. Either the Friday/8:30am and/or the Saturday afternoon number is or was off - assuming the 16k tallied was correct, of course.

Elections ARE hectic, and so is the vote-counting process.  As a long-time on-the-ground observer of both (both in Pima and Maricopa counties), we get that.  However, ESPECIALLY in this day and age - given the past 14 years of votes and court cases - it is important that the numbers in the public sphere reconcile.  If there is an incorrect number, it needs to be publicly corrected.  Confidence in the vote-counting process is critical.



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