Nearly half-mil­lion bal­lots still to be counted in Ari­zona

The Arizona Republic - - Business - Rob O’Dell MARK HENLE/THE REPUB­LIC The Ari­zona Repub­lic

There are more than 460,000 votes left to count statewide, ac­cord­ing to an tally of votes out­stand­ing in Ari­zona coun­ties as of 6 p.m. Thurs­day.

The re­main­ing bal­lots could swing ma­jor races in­clud­ing the U.S. Se­nate con­test be­tween Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema, as well as the su­per­in­ten­dent of schools, and sec­re­tary of state races.

Those votes will also push turnout to nearly 65 per­cent — if all the votes are counted — the high­est for a midterm elec­tion in re­cent Ari­zona his­tory. Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials:

❚ Mari­copa County has 345,000 bal­lots to be counted. That in­cludes 150,000 early bal­lots re­ceived be­fore Elec­tion Day and 195,000 bal­lots that were ei­ther early bal­lots dropped off on Elec­tion Day, pro­vi­sional bal­lots, or out-of-precinct bal­lots cast on Elec­tion Day.

❚ Pima County has 54,000 votes to be counted. This in­cludes about 36,000 early bal­lots and 18,000 pro­vi­sional votes. Pima County Reg­is­trar of Vot­ers Chris Roads said the Recorder’s Of­fice will be­gin pro­cess­ing pro­vi­sional bal­lots Fri­day morn­ing.

❚ Pi­nal County has an es­ti­mated 31,800 early bal­lots still to count, said Michele For­ney, elec­tions di­rec­tor. There are 6,800 pro­vi­sion­als left to count, she said, plus about 25,000 early bal­lots.

❚ Co­conino County has about 10,600 votes left to count, per the elec­tions depart­ment there. Those votes won’t get counted un­til Fri­day.

❚ Bal­lots re­main­ing to be counted in the rest of the state: 4,600 in Apache County, 4,700 in Cochise County, 580 in La Paz, an es­ti­mated 8,000 in Mo­have County, 4,000 in Navajo County, 2,200 in Santa Cruz County, 6,100 in Yava­pai County and 350 in Yuma County, ac­cord­ing to Gar­rett Archer of the Sec­re­tary of State’s of­fice.

Head­ing into Elec­tion Day, Repub­li­cans out­paced Democrats in re­turn­ing mail bal­lots by 7.5 per­cent­age points, ac­cord­ing to the Ari­zona Sec­re­tary of State’s Of­fice.

Repub­li­cans had an even larger cush­ion at the start of early vot­ing, but Democrats closed the gap as early vot­ing drew to a close, mak­ing it the small­est Repub­li­can lead in re­turned bal­lots in re­cent elec­tion his­tory for midterms.

Mari­copa County won’t up­date its vote tally un­til 5 p.m. Fri­day. Other coun­ties have been up­dat­ing vote to­tals later in the day as well.

had pro­jected about 2.18 mil­lion vot­ers, or 58.6 per­cent of those reg­is­tered, would cast a bal­lot this elec­tion, with a high es­ti­mate of 61 per­cent. But the cur­rent num­bers could push to­tal bal­lots cast to about 2.4 mil­lion, which is nearly 65 per­cent turnout.

That would be the most votes cast in a midterm elec­tion in re­cent state his­tory. It could also nearly top the all-time turnout for a midterm elec­tion in Ari­zona, which is 65.1 per­cent in 1982, Archer said.

The high­est voter turnout for a midterm since 1998 was in 2006 when 60.5 per­cent of vot­ers cast bal­lots. Midterm turnout per­cent­ages since 1998:

❚ 1998: 45.8 per­cent

❚ 2002: 56.3 per­cent

❚ 2006: 60.5 per­cent

❚ 2010: 55.7 per­cent

❚ 2014: 47.5 per­cent

Bal­lots are pro­cessed Wed­nes­day at the Mari­copa County Tab­u­la­tion and Elec­tion Cen­ter in Phoenix.

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