Arizona could be headed toward its first congressional recount ever, as Republican challenger Martha McSally’s lead over incumbent Democratic Rep. Ron Barber dwindled to only 179 votes Monday. A mandatory recount will occur if either candidate wins the race by fewer than 200 votes. There are still about 6,000 provisional votes left to count in Pima County, although not all of those votes will be in Barber and McSally’s 2nd Congressional District race. There are another 150 early ballots still to be processed and 300 “conditional provisionals” where a voter showed up to the polling place with no identification, said Pima County Registrar of Voters Chris Roads. Both candidates have started fundraising for legal bills for a potential recount, which election observers and campaign officials increasingly see as a possibility. “We’re down into Florida 2000 territory with this,” said Tempe pollster Michael O’Neil, referring to the historic standoff in the presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore. “With a margin potentially in the two digits.”
The high-stakes nature of the race was reflected Monday in a legal challenged by McSally to stop provisional votes from being counted. Pima County Superior Court Judge James Marner denied her request for a temporary restraining order to stop counting early ballots because he said there would not be irreparable harm done by continuing to count the votes.
The McSally campaign had wanted the Pima County recorder to stop verifying provisional ballots that were unsigned by poll workers and transmitting them to the Pima County Elections Department to be counted.
Full Article: Barber-McSally race heads toward potential recount.