Hundreds of thousands of ballots still out in tight Arizona Senate race

As many as 80k ballots are uncounted in Pima Co.

TUCSON, Ariz. - There still is no clear winner in the close race between Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema, and there may not be for days.

The race remains too close to call between the two Congresswomen from Arizona, and Garrett Archer -- and analyst from the Arizona Secretary of State's office -- says hundreds of thousands of votes remain to be counted.

Archer says most of the ballots that remain to be counted are early ballots that were sent late, and provisional ballots that need to be verified.

With nearly all of the ballots cast on Election Day counted, McSally leads Sinema by about 16,000 votes -- or about 0.9 percent.

According to Arizona law, an automatic recount is only triggered when the leading two candidates are separated by 0.1 percent of the vote or less.

In Pima County, election officials say nearly 80,000 ballots still need to be counted. Sinema is currently carrying a strong lead in Pima County, with 55.2 percent of the vote counted so far, while McSally only received 42.8 percent. County election officials say they won't resume counting those ballots until Thursday, and say counting will likely roll into next week.

The vast majority of ballots to be counted, however, are in Maricopa County, election officials say. In a release Wednesday afternoon, Maricopa election officials say about 472,000 ballots still need to be counted. Sinema has a narrow lead there with 49.4 percent of the vote, compared to McSally's 48.6 percent. Maricopa election officials expect to be counting the ballots for several days.

There are still thousands of ballots left to be counted in other parts of the state, as well -- including counties where McSally already has a strong lead.

Sinema's campaign released a statement on the ballot counting Thursday afternoon:

“Arizonans must have faith that their votes are counted, and we are working diligently to ensure that count proceeds in a fair, transparent, and timely manner that voters can trust. 

To that end, we have spent the hours since the polls closed tracking down ballots and know there are more than 600,000 left to be counted across the state. We also know that when the Maricopa County Recorder releases its first batch of ballots this evening, there will still be approximately half a million votes left to count. Once they are counted, we are confident that Kyrsten Sinema will be the next Senator for the state of Arizona.”


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