Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has increased her lead over GOP Rep. Martha McSally to 20,203 votes, as Arizona’s election officials counted more ballots in the state’s uncalled Senate race.
That is a 1 percent lead with over 1.9 million votes counted, according to the Arizona Secretary of State.
Sinema’s lead is a big gain from yesterday when she led by only 9,610 votes.
As of Friday night:
- Democrat Kyrsten Sinema had 991,189, or 49.3%
- Republican Martha McSally had 970,986 votes, or 48.3%
- Green Party candidate Angela Green had 46,796 or 2.3%
Members of the Sinema campaign are increasingly confident she has won the seat currently held by Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican who is retiring.
The thought of a Democrat winning Maricopa County, the largest county in Arizona and a typical solid Republican one, is almost mind boggling.
Sinema ran a moderate campaign appealing to Independent voters, refusing to engage in gutter attacks on McSally (who had called Sinema a traitor).
Sinema’s campaign, if successful, could be a blueprint for Democrats in other purple states.
The new results were posted after Arizona Republicans and Democrats agreed to give rural voters an extra chance to fix problems with their ballots in the count of the state’s tight Senate race, resolving a GOP lawsuit that sought to stop urban voters from using those very same procedures.
The settlement was technically between Republicans and the state’s county recorders, but Democrats agreed to it as it was announced in a Phoenix courtroom Friday afternoon.
Arizona’s 14 counties now have until Nov. 14 to address the issue
Four local Republican parties filed the lawsuit Wednesday night challenging the state’s two biggest counties for allowing voters to help resolve problems with their mail-in ballot signatures after Election Day.
If the signature on the voter registration doesn’t match that on the sealed envelope, both Maricopa and Pima County allow voters to help them fix, or “cure” it, up to five days after Election Day.
Many other counties only allow voters to cure until polls close on Election Day.
Now, all will follow the standard set by Maricopa, Pima and two other rural counties that allow for post-Election Day cures.
Only a few thousand votes would be affected by the issue, but every one counts in the razor-close U.S. Senate race.
At a brief hearing Thursday, a Maricopa County official said only about 5,600 ballots are at affected in her county and the rate is similar in the 14 smaller counties. More than 2.3 million votes were cast statewide.
In a tweet, the widow of the late Sen. John McCain, took aim at local GOP groups who filed the lawsuit.
“I am one of those mail in ballots. I was under the impression my vote was always counted,” McCain wrote Thursday, tagging the state’s local Republican Party account.