Pinal County Elections Department estimates it has 20,000 early ballots and 6,800 provisional ballots left to count.
Statewide there are an estimated 400,000 outstanding ballots. As the U.S. Senate race is thisclose, the methodical count and inconsistent policies on “curing” mail-in ballots have political party leadership on edge. The Republican Party in four counties sued Wednesday night and took particular aim at the recorders in Maricopa and Pima counties for allegedly not following a uniform standard by allowing voters extra days to fix or “cure” the ballots when signatures did not seem to match registration records.
Friday, they reached a settlement that allows rural counties to “cure” their early ballots in the same way until Nov. 14.
At issue is the battle for Jeff Flake’s senate seat between Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Martha McSally. McSally had been slightly ahead of Sinema since early counts began to be announced Tuesday night until late Thursday afternoon. As of 3:45 p.m. Friday, Sinema had a 9,097-vote lead.
The only other race that flipped in such a manner was for superintendent of public instruction. Democrat Kathy Hoffman had trailed Republican Frank Riggs in the early count but overtook him Thursday and now leads by more than 20,000 votes.
Meanwhile Democrat Sandra Kennedy quietly has edged closer to Republican Rodney Glassman in the election for Corporation Commissioner. There are two seats available. Though Republican Justin Olson is the top vote-getter so far, the top three candidates are separated by less than a percentage point. Kennedy is behind Glassman by 6,733 votes.
Kyrsten Sinema 943,099 votes 49.8%
Martha McSally 934,002 votes 48.6%