I thought I'd give my fellow Kossacks an update on the two congressional races that are undecided here in southern Arizona.
No winner has been declared in either race. Although Raúl Grijalva has declared victory, none of his opponents have conceded, and none of the candidates in CD8 have declared victory or conceded. Congressman Grijalva clings to a slightly more than 3500 vote lead, leading Republican Ruth McClung 61,598 (48.57%) to 58,012 (45.74%). Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords clings to 2400 vote lead, leading teabagger Republican Jesse Kelly 119,616 (48.51%) to 117,169 (47.52%). A winner may not be known and declared until the weekend. The reason after the jump -
The problem is outstanding / uncounted votes in Pima County, home to Tucson and the majority population for both districts. Pima County is traditionally slow in counting, but this is the worse it's been, and according to the Secretary of State's website, all votes have been tallied in the other counties in which portions of the districts lie.
According the (Tucson) Arizona Daily Star, more than 47,000 votes remain to be counted.
That total includes 25,300 early ballots turned in at polling places Tuesday. Those must be verified by the Pima County Recorder, which could take several days, said Elections Director Brad Nelson.
There were 3,200 late-arriving mail ballots that the office received on election day, as well as some 13,000 provisional ballots. Typically, those provisional ballots have a rejection rate of about 25 percent. Provisional ballots are those for which voter registration needs to be verified before the votes can be counted.
There were also about 5,800 ballots that have to be duplicated because the scanning machines had trouble reading them, which happens when people use red ink, for example, when filling out their ballots.
But, it is encouraging for both Grijalva and Giffords, especially for Raúl. Of the votes from Pima County tallied so far, Grijalva is leading 53.3% to 37.9%, and Giffords is leading 49.8% to 46.3%. There are Independent and Libertarian candidates in Grijalva's race, winning around 5.5% of the vote, and a Libertarian in Gifford's race, winning around 3.85%. Particularly in Gifford's race, the margin of victory may be less than the vote for the Libertarian - thank you Libertarians!
Otherwise it was a pretty sad night in Arizona for Democrats and sanity. Jan Brewer was easily elected to a full term, and Republican's swept the statewide races. Ann Kirpatrick & Harry Mitchell were swept out of CD1 & CD5, and son of Quayle won by 12 points in CD3. John McCain, who spent his time running for reelection by campaigning in other states for other candidates, including Sharron Angle in Nevada, and spent hundreds of thousands of his campaign ads attacking Grijalva and Giffords and urging a vote for the Republican opponents, coasted to reelection. But actually, his 58.9%/34.5% margin was one of his narrowest margins ever - he won reelection in 2004 with 77% of the vote.
Please keep pulling for Raúl Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords!