UPDATES: Sinema lead grows to 21,185. Gaynor (Secretary of State) lead cut to 9,560 (originally 40k). Sandra Kennedy has passed Rodney Glassman 2,573 for Corporation Commission
Lawsuits by both parties filed
By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
The latest returns from the state’s two largest counties have given Kyrsten Sinema the lead in her bid for U.S. Senate — barely.
New figures late Thursday from the Secretary of State’s Office find the Democrat has opened up a 9,610-vote edge over Republican Martha McSally out of about 1.9 million votes already counted, or about half a percentage point. That is a sharp reversal from just 24 hours earlier when Sinema trailed her GOP foe by about 15,000.
Those newly counted ballots also have given Democrat Kathy Hoffman the lead in her race for state superintendent of public instruction. She is now up by 20,348 over Republican Frank Riggs; a day ago he had 7,200 more votes than she did.
The change in fortune comes as the Arizona Republican Party and four of its county affiliates are trying to get a judge to block election officials in Maricopa, Pima, Coconino and Apache counties from counting some late-cast early ballots. Voters in those four counties all were breaking for the Democrat contenders.
At the same time, the Arizona Democratic Party filed its own lawsuit against Maricopa County in a bid to boost the Democrat edge there even more by helping to “rehabilitate” some ballots that were set aside for a variety of reasons, like lack of identification.
Sinema’s big surge comes as Maricopa County elections officials processed an additional approximately 127,000 ballots on Thursday.