Sinema con­tin­ues to inch ahead in slow Ari­zona vote count

The Peterborough Examiner - - Canada & World - News ser­vices

Demo­crat Kyrsten Sinema is con­tin­u­ing to inch ahead in the slow-mo­tion fin­ish to Ari­zona’s U.S. Se­nate race.

On Satur­day night, she re­mained a lit­tle more than a per­cent­age point ahead of Repub­li­can Martha McSally. She gained 4,000 votes from a batch of bal­lots tal­lied in Mari­copa County as well as a few thou­sand from else­where in the state.

The bat­tle for the seat be­ing va­cated by Sen. Jeff Flake, the Repub­li­can ridiculed by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, is just get­ting started. Ari­zona’s elec­tion of­fi­cials say it could take days for a win­ner to emerge as they steadily count hun­dreds of thou­sands of bal­lots.

McSally, 52, is hop­ing for a late shift to­ward her in the re­main­ing bal­lots. There are more than 250,000 out­stand­ing.

At first, McSally looked as if she could win by a ra­zor-thin mar­gin. Then the Green party emerged as a po­ten­tial spoiler, even though its can­di­date had dropped out of the race. Now Sinema has taken the lead.

Trump is weigh­ing in, claim­ing with­out of­fer­ing proof that cor­rup­tion is taint­ing the race. The chair of the Ari­zona Repub­li­can Party is ac­cus­ing the top elec­tion official in Phoenix of voter fraud, prompt­ing an­gry re­but­tals from Democrats who seem to be claw­ing back in a Repub­li­can bas­tion.

“Wel­come to the new Ari­zona,” said Joseph Gar­cia of the Latino Pub­lic Pol­icy Cen­ter at Ari­zona State Univer­sity. “We’re slowly shift­ing from a red con­ser­va­tive state to a blue pro­gres­sive state. Will this process be smooth at ev­ery turn? No way.”

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