Ron Barber and Martha McSally may find out Monday which of them will represent Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District in the next Congress. Outcome of the too-close-to-call race will hinge on two factors: Pima County completing its count of early, duplicate and provisional ballots; whether the Republican McSally pursues a legal challenge that her lawyer brought up Sunday. The count, including several hundred votes posted Sunday, showed McSally with a 341-vote lead, or 0.16 percent. An estimated 9,000 Pima County provisional ballots and an unknown but likely much smaller number of ballots in Cochise County remained to be counted. Pima County officials were processing provisional and duplicate ballots all weekend and said they will count the ballots Monday with results expected in the afternoon. That could complete the count leading to declaration of a winner. That is, unless McSally’s campaign pursues a legal challenge it raised over provisional ballots Sunday.
McSally lawyer Eric Spencer sent an email Sunday morning to Pima County Recorder F. Anne Rodriguez and Elections Director Brad Nelson requesting that they stop verifying provisional ballots that are missing an election official’s signature on the ballot form and that those ballots not be counted.
The county declined, in a response sent by Chris Roads, county registrar of voters. Roads told Spencer that the processing of ballots will continue because it “has no bearing as to your challenge,” and will not prevent the challenge from proceeding.