Ballot controversy in Cochise County leaves voters frustrated
Reporter: Maggie Vespa
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The road toward final results in the race between Martha McSally and Ron Barber hit yet another speed bump Tuesday.
It's the latest in a long ballot battle that has voters asking, "How hard can this be?"
In Cochise County, the only consensus is confusion among residents.
"That's definitely frustrating, especially knowing that your vote is not going to count if ballots are getting thrown out," said Antonio Smith.
"We have the mechanisms and the abilities to, or should have those anyway, to be able to make a successful election, but sometimes it doesn't happen that way apparently," said Dean Jolly.
"It's not that complicated," added Jonathan Brown. "If you look at an envelope that's been opened, why can't you figure out of it's been opened after it was sealed, or if it was left open?"
And he hit the nail on the head.
At issue? A lawsuit filed Tuesday morning, alleging some 130 ballots were delivered to the recorder's office unsealed on election night and may have been compromised.
Hours later, to keep the ballot count moving, the suit was sidelined, but not before raising some eyebrows concerning Cochise County.
"It tends to lean democratic," said Jessica Floyd, manager for the Ron Barber campaign. "It's majority minority, and we simply feel that this is an attempt to cherry pick which votes get counted or not."
9 On Your Side spoke to reps for the McSally campaign over the phone. They said "every vote needs to count, but every vote needs to be counted with integrity."
Above all, both sides are glad to see the process move forward, a process voters said can't end soon enough.
"They should have done the job," said Eileen Barnett. "They should already have it counted for, who's won, and that's that."