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Barber/McSally: Pima recount complete

Read this update from Wednesday: McSally wins by 167 votes after recount

Pima County completed a hand count of selected precincts Monday, which "exactly" matched the electronic recount finished last week, officials said. The state has a deadline of 5 p.m. Tuesday to deliver the tally in the race between U.S. Rep. Ron Barber and Martha McSally to a judge.

Last week, Pima and Cochise counties finished the machine recount in the CD 2 race between Ron Barber and likely winner McSally, but results in that count weren't released. First, a hand recount of random ballots was done used to verify the accuracy of the machine count.

The hand count was performed on ballots cast at polling places in five percent of CD 2 precincts, as selected by the chairs of the county Democratic and Republican parties. The review covered 2,165 ballots from eight precincts, said county spokesman Mark Evans.

The results of the verification matched "exactly" the machine count last week, county Elections Director Brad Nelson told Evans.

Results from the counties must be submitted to Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper by 5 p.m. Tuesday. Under Arizona law, the recount results cannot be released until done so by the judge. Cooper plans to announce the results at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

With McSally up by just 161 votes, a recount in the congressional race was automatic under Arizona law. Another look at the ballots is triggered when the margin is less than 200 votes.

The totals from the initial count in CD 2 are 109,704 for the Republican challenger, and 109,543 for the Democratic incumbent. While a different distribution of votes will likely result from the recount, compared with the initial count, previous Arizona recounts of even larger ballot pools have resulted in changes in the tally that are less than the margin in the CD 2 race.

The last recount at the state level was 2010, when Proposition 112, which would moved up the deadline to file petitions for citizens initiatives, trailed by 126 votes in the official canvass. The recount confirmed that the measure failed, though the margin increased to 192 votes.

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Earlier in the CD 2, a move by Barber to include more ballots in the tally was shot down by a judge. Some 133 ballots rejected by elections officials should have been included in the count, Barber said.

Before that, a move by McSally to exclude some provisional ballots from the count was also rejected by a judge.

Both campaigns have continued fundraising efforts during the recount, and both have played their cards close to the vest regarding any possible legal moves.

Under Arizona law, an election challenge is still an option.

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Latest comments on this storyRead all 6 »

Dec 16, 2014, 4:21 pm
-0 +0


rhgrundy, my remarks were centered around the
“FULL Voting Rights” for all voters regardless of their
personal or political persuasions.  These Rights are
not anti-women voter…but are pro-all voter rights.

Dec 16, 2014, 4:13 pm
-0 +1

@Bret Linden

Bret your comment is partially on the money…yes the
voter fill in oval of choice…yes the machine ‘should’
detect and record the filled in oval.  But here in Arizona
approx two counties had to dump and replace their
voting machines because they no longer could be used
because their ‘detect and record functions stopped
being reliable.

Bret one can hope that every voter will do their best
properly mark their ballot….but like you they are
human and are not perfect…this is the reason that
voters have a “FULL Voting Right” for a triple
count of their ballot. (1) election night closing count
by hand or machine, (2) a 100% verify hand count of
all ballots immediately after the closing count.  (3) And
for requested (by voter) recount by hand or machine
followed by 100% verify hand count of recount race.

Dec 16, 2014, 1:57 pm
-0 +3

FrankHenry wrote:

(2)  The machine counting is done in the blind.
Workers, officials can not affirm the count reported out
by the machines is in fact the true vote/intent of each
voter.  Hence the certainty of the machine counting
process is very low to nil.

This is where you lost me. It doesn’t get too much simpler than filling in a bubble. The computer sees which bubble is filled in and which is not. If the voter messes up something as simple as filling in a bubble then he shouldn’t be voting.

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